How Not to Gain 47 Pounds Over Christmas
How does one stay on track when I just want to eat all the latkes, pies, wine, cookies and Rice Krispie treats?!
You could Google that junk right now and find like, 8.4 billion articles on how to stay healthy during the holidays. But let' be real, do any of them actually work for you?!
Who really does that?!
Props to those who are able to turn a blind eye to the dessert table over the holidays, but the idea of not participating at all kinda depresses me. I mean, you've met me.
I love my healthy foods, I love converting things to healthier versions of themselves, and I love my clean sweet treats. However, I would love a normal Rice Krispie treat from time to time and I look forward to Sweet Potato Pie and Chocolate Pecan Pie this time of year.
I have learned though, that I can't eat healthy pretty much all year long, and then let loose over the holidays. I do my body so much harm that way! From gaining weight, to compromising my immune system to the fatigue both of those bring, it's just not worth it to me.
In my extensive life experience of being boss at life and getting it all right at all times (wink wink), I have figured out a few things ( six things actually) that work for me. So here's to hoping that you find something that may be helpful to you as well.
Proceed as Usual
I know, I know. This is a totally obvious that-goes-without-saying kind of tip. But really though...you know as well as I do that we make ALL KINDS of exceptions that we would never give a glance toward if it were like, April and not December. I stick to my regular eating habits and supplements, but allow myself moderate indulging at holiday parties, family dinners, and Christmas Movie Night. You see what I mean? Stick to your usual protein shake/salad/salmon routine, so you can enjoy that pie and whipped cream at your Ornament Exchange Party or when you ring in the New Year with liquid calories (aka champagne),
PRO TIP: Drink a fresh green drink/smoothie or eat a leafy green salad before heading to that party. This will help pump your body full of nutrients which will curb your hunger and cravings.
Drink All the Water
Listen lovely, you better drink water like its your job. It is super critical to stay hydrated over the holidays.
While, you can catch me preaching about water to everyone, " Drink AT LEAST half of your body weight in ounces every single day." it is even more important now as we take into account the added sugar/carbs we will consume that is outside of our norm. Water will keep toxins from accumulating in your digestive track and help boost your immunity.
PRO TIP: Drinking infused water is a great way to get your water in each day, and curb the boredom by adding customized flavors.
Make a Kid's Plate
I always told my kids to take less and get more if needed. I try to do the same. I fix a plate the way I would for one of my boys (the smaller ones, the 2 older ones eat like Linebackers!). This means my plate only ends up about half full. I still make sure to taste the things I want to eat without feeling deprived, but this helps me not overdo it. I also try to eat slowly, engaging in conversation and the energy around me which ensures I am aware when my body cues that I am full/satisfied.
Is it Worth It?
When I am contemplating total sugar annihilation that lurks around at the holidays, and the impending fallout, I will ask myself: "Will this bless my body?"
What I mean is, will eating a cinnamon roll, or a Christmas cookie or whatever, actually benefit my body? Is that baked holiday treat worth the calories? Most of the time, said baked goods are not any more satisfying than one of my healthy treats that I prefer year round, and I don't want to go off the rails over something that is mediocre. Instead, I take a sliver of pie instead of a full slice or a bite of a treat so I am participating, but not sabotaging.
Keep it Movin' Girl
It's a given, we will all consume more these holiday months than we normally would.
A key way to make sure that you still feel great and keep your energy up despite the increase in food and decrease in Vitamin D, is to keep moving.
Commit to raising your heart rate for at least 30 minutes every day.
You could walk the dog, play with your kids at the park, dance to Christmas music while baking, or get romantic. You know, every little bit counts!
Know Your Body
You know how certain foods make you feel. Or at least, you should.
Like, I know that I feel sluggish when I eat fried foods. My sinuses swell when I eat dairy. My skin dries out and blemishes sprout when I eat too much sugar. My feet and hands swell when I eat too much salt.
You may be shrugging this information off because you may be aware that I suffer from food allergies. But I have learned over the years that these "side effects" are actually symptoms. They are your body's way of telling you that it cannot properly process those foods, and it would do you good to pay attention. If you know these things, you can allow yourself to indulge in areas that won't cause you physical harm.
Forreal though, let's not be dumb. Making reckless choices can obviously harm our bodies temporarily through illness or inflammation, but what about the long term?
Don't fall for the lie that you can "work it off next month". Has that ever worked out for you before?! If I am honest, January comes and I set all these grand intentions...that last until about March, and I am wondering what happened. What happens if you don't get back to health after a season of indulgence? I can't imagine it would be very motivating.
So let's be ourselves and enjoy the holidays lovelies, but not at the expense of
who we aim to be.