Healthy over the Holidays

Good news: the average weight gain over the holidays is only about a pound. Bad news: that pound tends to stick around and over the years adds up. This holiday season, what if you try a different perspective? Instead of calling it a bust before the holidays even start, acknowledge that there may be an extra treat or two but that doesn’t mean that you have to dive head first into the same habits of overeating, constant snacking, cookie grazing and indulging. Thanksgiving is a single day. A chance to enjoy family, friends and good food. What you put on your plate and how much is up to you. Christmas comes with cookie exchanges, holiday parties and big breakfasts. Enjoy the season and the parties knowing you’ll feel better after them if you enjoy a couple mindful treats without constant grazing or eating until you are stuffed. 

Tip 1: Over the holidays, if you want to enjoy a treat or a drink, do so! Decide in advance, though, how much you’ll have and when and stick with it. It is ok to allow yourself flexibility with a holiday meal without going overboard. A healthy lifestyle is no longer healthy if you feel over-restricted. 

Tip 2: In social settings, it’s easy to forget the mindful eating habits you’ve created. Remember to eat until about 80% full and a little more slowly, you may even enjoy the holidays more not being completely stuffed.

Tip 3: Decide on habits you want to keep daily and stick to them. I call these “comfort habits” when life feels crazy. Are you going to go on a walk every morning still? Are you still nourishing your body with fruits and vegetables? What are a couple habits you can keep consistent everyday throughout the season?

Tip 4: Let other people in on your plans for the holiday season! Tell others what you are hoping to accomplish and why, and talk to them about how they can help you to reach this goal. Invite others to take part in your healthy habits with you. 

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