HOLIDAY TIPS TO KEEP HEALTHY HABITS!
Holidays are a hard time of the year when we are invited to many gatherings with tons of food and cocktails. It is also the time of the year when the weather gets cooler, the days shorter, and our winter blues is starting to show. Nothing invites us to keep our healthy living/healthy eating routine in check.
Towards the end of the year, there is a significant event each month (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, the end of year festivities) on top of various end of year parties.
Many of us are tempted to go wild, forget our goals, and reconsider and start over in January. Don’t delay after the holidays, setbacks are hard to recover from and we only cheat ourselves.
The best approach is to put ourselves in the right mindset and have a strategy in place to manage and monitor our efforts to avoid deviating too far from our goals. A few tips are particularly helpful for that:
– Staying connected to our true motivation to stay healthy. It is best to remind ourselves more frequently during the holiday season about the reasons why we have those goals and what would be the consequences of loosing ground towards achieving or maintaining those goals.
– Rallying the troops is always an effective strategy. Knowing our surroundings, spending more time with like-minded individuals and avoiding people who will tempt us into a setback.
– Choosing events carefully. Having a wall calendar where we can note events and make sure they are strategically distributed over those 3 months avoiding multiple events in the same week.
– Using Mental rehearsal techniques which are popular among athletes to successfully reach or stay on track with goals. This is a visualization technique taking us through the steps of what it will take us to keep working on our goals and how succeeding will feel.
– Changing our self-talk- adopting the “yes I can” mentality.
– Using a journal to not only log what we eat, how much and when if we feel we are falling behind, but also to write self-motivating short phrases that resonate with us. Writing mindfully is essential so our brains can register the true meaning of the words!
– If we have not done yet, creating a motivation board showing where we want to get to and, most importantly, what it will create for us. Are we trying to lose weight to get off a particular medication, which will save us $/year. Those savings could be used towards a massage or a facial, a gym membership, some new pastime with our family…
– Don’t be hard on yourself- setbacks happen, don’t get discouraged, we all learn from failures, let’s pick up where we are and get back on track. Learning from setbacks and putting things in place that will make it harder for us to fall off track is essential.
– Making sure we exercise during the season. Our body will keep producing endorphin and dopamine which keep our energy up and an elevate our moods.
– Tons is happening around the holidays and making sure we get the right amount of sleep is crucial. Sleep deprivation impairs food choices and moods which could start an unhealthy vicious cycle.
– If you know a food is not healthy for you and you have problems with boundaries, don’t buy it for your house unless this is occasional and needed for a party…
– Be comfortable saying no to yourself and others- practice healthy boundary setting. Become your strongest advocate.
Having a strategy for each event:
o Do not go hungry, eat something healthy and filling before going, such as wheat toast with almond butter, a piece of chicken, a banana.
o Concentrate on having fun getting prepared for the event and doing anything that feels sexy, spending time getting ready and enjoying the process, pampering yourself…. This will put the concentration on you and how you feel rather than food.
o Remember where you are coming from, your road to success, and how good you look in comparison to when you started. It might be a good time of the year to have a picture of yourself or something reminding you how far you have gone. Set it in a place where you can see it every day.
o Be positive and relaxed, you will be less likely to overeat.
o Have a strategy for drinks. Drink plenty of water, it will help with hunger and alcohol intake. Have an idea of the calories in each type of drink and decide on how many you will drink ahead of time.
o Use small plates and avoid going back for seconds- when eating, eat mindfully, purposefully, slowly, and chewing multiple times for better digestion. Remember that it takes 20 mins for your brain to register fullness. Take your time to avoid overeating. There will be a lot of temptations.
o Like for drinks, strategically chose the food and be aware of calories and sugar intake. Use the 80/20 rule, have an 80% nutritious plate with veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats but chose a dessert if you have a sweet tooth and cannot resist the pumpkin cheesecake. Deprivation will lead to possible binging, so allow yourself to limited splurging times. When splurging on the 20%, be present to fully enjoy the experience and feel satisfied about it.
o Be conscious about how you feel after you eat certain types of food.
o Concentrate on mingling and staying busy. Enjoy meeting people, be positive, and curious about them. Celebrate the season!
o Remember how far you have gone and how much effort it took you. Be proud of yourself.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE MRC AND LAUREAVIDA TEAM!