When festivity fills the air, the holiday spirit becomes contagious. Bakeries start stocking up, there are mince pies on strategically placed supermarket shelves (at the entrance), and glasses are topped with sparkling wine. Caution goes out the window and we stop fighting against the holiday spirit and put on the notorious burden we regret as soon as the New Year dawns: holiday weight.
It does not need to be one or the other, though. You can indulge in your pavlova and chocolate and emerge in the Christmas feast as much as anyone else. There are only a few technical tips and tricks that you must integrate into your lifestyle and you will never have to worry about making the holiday spirit your enemy again.
Be prepared to start out your New Year already feeling like the new self you need to be, having already taken losing weight off of your list of resolutions. Let your body and mind both get the best this holiday season with my 5 tips for surviving the holidays.
1. PLAN AHEAD
Make SURE TO PLAN before you attend a gathering or party.
If possible, ask the host what kinds of foods and drinks will be served so you’ll know ahead of time how to prepare. Don’t be afraid to call ahead and offer to bring a healthier plate to share with the other guests. This isn’t being rude, it’s taking care of yourself so you can spend your energy on having a good time and not worrying about how you’ll feel after you eat.
Throw a healthy protein bar (Isalean bars are one of my faves) in your bag so you’ll have something to snack on besides the chips and dip.
If you can, always eat at least a small meal before you go to a dinner or party. If you show up starving you’ll be likely to wolf down everything in sight.
If you’re feeling super hungry at an event, focus on drinking water before you go for that plate of food. Sometimes that hunger is actually a sign of thirst.
If you’re finding yourself craving sugar and salt, your body is likely depleted in minerals. Order a tall glass of water with lemon while you’re out to replenish.
Are you toasting the holiday with a glass of bubbly or red wine? Make sure to drink a glass of water before and after your cocktail.
Another awesome option is to make a healthy vitamin water, and drink it both before you head out AND the morning after.
3. HAVE RULES
The key to staying healthy and feeling good (both physically and mentally) during the holidays is to avoid eating everything in sight.
We’re all human. There’s no way we’re going to make it through an entire month of parties and holiday treats saying NO every single time. Nor do we want to.
That kind of extreme mentality is what leaves us feeling emotionally deprived and ready to go home after the party and overeat.
The last thing we want is to get so frustrated with deprivation that we show up to a party and say screw it, I’m eating everything!
Practice the 80/20 rule. Focus on eating healthy, nourishing foods 80% of the time. This gives you some leeway to indulge the other 20% of the time without feeling guilty.
4. PACE YOURSELF
When you do decide to have the slice of pie or helping of mum’s stuffing, focus on savouring the food instead of inhaling it.
Moderation and paying attention to portion sizes go a long way to keeping us healthy and feeling good.
Take a few moments to turn inward before you start eating. Ask yourself: Have I filled myself up with self-care today? Have I slowed down and addressed my emotions?
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, take a few moments to do some deep breathing. Excuse yourself to the restroom if you need to step away.
Taking the time to touch base with your body and slow down will help prevent overeating.
If you actually want to have a taste of something, then do it! Slow down and enjoy the decadent flavour of that chocolate cake or the creamy deliciousness of those mashed potatoes. Taste the food you’re eating, and don’t feel guilty.
Savour the moment. Remember that a truly healthy, happy holiday is about being present in the moment.
As you’re celebrating, practice mindfulness:
I deserve to really enjoy my life.
I deserve to step away from a stressful situation to focus on myself for 5 minutes.
I deserve to enjoy celebrating in the company of my friends and family.
It’s not only about the plate of food. Take a taste of life, too. The food is a reflection of your life and what is happening inside and around you. Savour your life.
Sometimes, regardless of our best intentions, we can still feel bloated, tired, and less-than-amazing once the party’s over.
It’s important to have some healthy tricks in the toolbox to nip those gross symptoms in the bud and get us back on track to feeling great. We want to focus on flushing toxins out of our bodies to reduce the acidic waste that leads to bloating and fatigue.
Here are a couple of my favourite ways to de-bloat and reset the day after.
- Drink morning lemon elixir
- Move your body. Exercise is one of the best ways to cleanse your body and remove toxins. Sweating helps the body to eliminate toxins through the skin.
If you want the recipes I’ve mentioned above and even more healthy eating & living strategies to help you navigate the Holiday, then be sure to download my Holiday Survival Guide!
THE HEALTHY HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE COMES WITH EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR HEALTH A PRIORITY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY PIES CROSS YOUR PATH.
- My 28-page Holiday Survival e-Guide loaded with tips for keeping your sanity (& current dress size) during the holidays.
- Strategies that teach you when & how to say no, thank you to food
- AND how to say yes please & actually enjoy your indulgence, guilt-free
- PLUS support & guidance from me through our private Facebook group, where there will be a community of other awesome people on the same path to better health
- PLUS you get My 4-Day Post-Holiday Healthy Reset Plan, which includes:
- 15 delicious, easy to prepare recipes to get your body feeling great after a night (or few) of celebrating
- A detailed shopping list to save you tons of time at the store
- A 4-day suggested meal guide for breakfast, lunch, & dinner to guide you through the reset with ease
- My Daily Holiday Survival Checklist to print out and post on the fridge or in the office so you can stay on track with healthy habits
- And a Food & Self-Love Journal to help keep you centred and joyful during your celebrations!