It’s holiday season which means all kinds of office parties, friends parties, family gatherings, lots and lots of yummy food and less time for workouts. Around this time each year, I have many conversations with clients that have made a big effort to form healthy eating and exercise habits and worry about maintaining them through the holiday season. It is actually possible to enjoy some tasty treats throughout the holidays and not ruin your healthy habits! Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you enter this time:
Eat your favorite holiday treat on that holiday! We all have certain holidays that we celebrate and particular foods that we really love to eat on that day. Let yourself have that food on that day! But only on that day. The tricky part is when that favorite food extends throughout the whole week of that holiday. This is when your habits start to decline. Eating a slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving will not kill you! But if you eat a slice of pumpkin pie everyday of the week following thanksgiving you will start to feel and see the effects.
Eat dinner before attending holiday parties. If you eat a well balanced healthy dinner before you go to that holiday party you are less likely to snack on cookies and candy that will inevitably be there.
Go on walks with the family. While visiting with family or friends suggest a walk around the neighborhood or a short hike. It’s great bonding time plus it allows your body to get moving and start digesting some of that yummy food.
Give yourself alone time. I am a huge fan of holiday season it still feels magical to me. I love seeing family and feeling the energy in the air but this is also a stressful time for many people and I find it extremely helpful to give myself at least a little bit of alone time each day. There is so much going on that it is easy to get overwhelmed and end up not enjoying time with family or friends. I like to bring a book and excuse myself to read if I need alone time, or do a short meditation. Whatever works for you but remind yourself that giving yourself a short break is always an option.
Dance at the holiday party! This one is just for fun :) Oh, and good exercise.