Holiday Survival

Here in the US, Thanksgiving is 3 days away and I have been hearing from a lot of people how nervous they are about this holiday season.  So, I thought I’d write up a quick post, with some tips on surviving the holiday season.

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  • If you do over indulge.  It is ok. Seriously, it’s ok!  Tomorrow is a new day. If you do gain a couple pounds, so what.  It’s not permanent.  Is it optimal? No, but it is not a reason to let it completely derail your overall progress.  So, stop fixating on your mistakes.
  • Holidays are about enjoying time with the ones we love. You do not have to be the person who brings their own food to Grandma’s dinner.  You can do the best with what is offered.  Load up the majority of your plate with meat and vegetables. Struggling with portion sizes for starchy carbs?  Use your hands.  1 cupped hand is 1 serving size for most women, and 2 cupped hands is a serving size for most men.
  • Eat a little something before you go to your holiday feast.  Showing up starving is a recipe of disaster.  It is incredibly difficult to make healthy choices and determine healthy portion sizes when we are very hungry.
  • Pick your poison. If you plan to have alcohol, be responsible.  Wine and clear liquor are your best choices.  (Watch those mixers for the liquor, they can add up! Water, club soda, lime juice and diet sodas are the best choices.) As you know alcohol can impair judgments, but that also means it makes it harder to make good decisions around food.  People are more likely to binge eat when they have been drinking.
  • Pumpkin pie your thing? Or maybe is mashed taters? Or stuffing?  Cool! Make sure you have some.  Seriously.  Do not deprive yourself, that can lead to binges later on. So, have a small slice of pie or put some gravy on those mashed taters.  And truly enjoy them.
  • Easy come easy go. If you do happen to gain weight, its ok!  Don’t freak. And absolutely do not let that be the reason you quit your healthy lifestyle.  That is where the real damage happens.
  • Move your body.  If you can get to the gym, great.  If not, go for walks. Wrestle with your nephews.  Just move your body.  There also are a lot of bodyweight based exercises out there that you can do in your own home with minimal equipment.  Just remember exercise IS NOT a punishment for what you ate.  So do not think, I have to run X miles to burn off this pie. Not only does not work this way, it is a horribly unhealthy relationship to have with food and exercise.
  • Try eating a little something before you go to your holiday feast.  Showing up starving is a recipe of disaster.  It is incredibly difficult to make healthy choices and determine healthy portion sizes when we are very hungry.  Just make sure it has some protein in it.
  • Try to stop eating before you are full. I know, it’s incredibly difficult on a holiday that is centered around stuffing ourselves.  But here is the thing, it takes at least 20 minutes for the signals in our guts to tell our brains that we are full and need to stop. So, technically you were full 20 minutes before you actually felt full!  In order to do that, eat slowly, taste every bite.  Put the fork down between bites.  If you stop eating and 20 minutes go by and you still feel hungry, then have some seconds or hit up the desserts.

If you do over indulge.  It is ok.  Tomorrow is a new day.  And remember food isn’t the bad guy. Eat the turkey. Have some pie.  Most importantly, enjoy the time with your loved ones.

If you are still feeling nervous about the holidays, shoot me an email at steph@stephhayes.com and we can work through this together.  For a limited time, I am offering an email only support for surviving the holidays.  From now till January 2nd, you can have daily email access to me (Monday through Friday).  I will answer any nutrition or mindset related questions and provide accountability.  My highest tier nutrition coaching can run over $200 a month, but this Holiday Survival will be only $25.

 

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