The holiday season is such a wonderful time of the year, but it is also notorious for being a time of over-indulging and over-scheduling.
It's no wonder that by the New Year we are all ready to make drastic resolutions!
Here are 6 suggestions to surviving and thriving through the holidays without gaining the extra 1-5 pounds this year. Now that's one tradition you can happily kick to the curb!
1. STAY HYDRATED. I know I always tell you this, but so many overindulgences and binges can be minimized or eliminated by simply drinking 1 cup of water every hour. Make water your friend and sip on it all day long! Still have the munchies? Try adding a squeeze of lemon juice or 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar to your glass of water. Add a dash of liquid stevia to make it sweeter and more palatable. This will curb a craving really quickly!
2. SLOW DOWN. Before you eat, take a moment and breathe deeply 5-10 times. Breathe in slowly for a count of 6, hold it for a moment, then release your breath SLOWLY over a count of 6. Pause a moment and repeat. Bring your awareness to your breath and focus on filling your lungs fully each time. By the time you have finished, you should feel more calm and present. As you eat, stay mindful and continue breathing deeply between bites. Chew your food intentionally and completely. Notice when you feel comfortably full. Stop and take a quick inventory. Do you NEED to finish your meal? Can you save it for later? Is the rest of the food (treats included) worth the overstuffed feelings or guilt? Give yourself permission to stop and have more later if you feel hungry.
3. GET UP AND MOVE. Schedule time every day to move and exercise. Workouts don't have to be long. 15 minutes is great. Something is always better than nothing. In addition, get up every hour and take 5 minutes to stretch, take a quick walk, and get a drink. After an 8-hour workday, that is 40 minutes of extra movement that you've accumulated for the day! It all adds up.
4. FILL UP ON FRUITS AND VEGGIES. These boast a lot of water and fiber to help you feel more full (among a lot of other things) and vitamins and minerals to fill your body with nutrients. As I tell my kids, fill up with the healthy stuff first so the good nutrients get all the "parking spots" in your body.
5. MAKE A PLAN. If you know you have a party with lots of heavy, decadent, rich foods that will be hard to resist, fill up on water-rich fruits and veggies throughout the day. Add a serving of protein to keep you more satiated. Before you get to the party, decide what you are going to do. Are you going to have 1 normal (not heaped) plate with a tasting of your favorite foods? Are you going to try to keep it clean while everyone around you is indulging? Are you going to bring your own food? Decide what you want, what you can realistically do, make a plan, and then follow through. Make sure to stay hydrated with water and to breathe deeply so you can remain mindful and in control of your eating.
6. INDULGE SMART...OR NOT. What do you do when all those decadent treats come to your doorstep? Sometimes it seems it can be enough to gain a pound every day! Start with strategies #1 and #2 before you even take a bite so you don't end up with an empty plate before you even know what happened. Take a good look at what you have. Do you REALLY want one? How will you feel after you eat it? Is it worth it? How would you feel if you didn't eat one? What do you give up by eating it? What do you give up by NOT eating it? Just some food for thought...
7. BRUSH YOUR TEETH. (And if you have a retainer, put that in too!) This is one I've had in my arsenal for a long time. Brush your teeth after your meal and/or before heading out to late night events. You'll be less likely to eat again. Stick to water and keep your hydration game strong!
I wish you a Happy, Healthy Holiday season and hope these tips help! Comment below with any tips of your own that help you avoid the holiday season weight gain!