Yes, the holidays are upon us again. Along with them comes the seemingly never ending opportunity to eat really good food that is often not-so-good-for-you.
If you’ve been working hard over the past year to change your lifestyle, eat better and lose weight, don’t look at the next six weeks as an excuse to throw your progress, good habits and willpower out the window.
Here are some ideas and inspiration to help you stay the course and still enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Recognize that sometimes victory comes in the form of just making it through the holidays without gaining any weight. (Print this out and carry it in your wallet or post it in your bathroom mirror as a reminder to help you get you through the rough parts.)
2. Strive to keep up your normal routine when it comes to eating and exercise on days you aren’t scheduled to shop or celebrate.
3. Give yourself permission to enjoy a weekly treat or two in small portions.
4. Heading out early to take advantage of the Black Friday shopping deals? Eat before you leave the house. Pack snacks to take along, and if you do eat out, stick with healthy menu options like small sandwiches, broth based soups, salads with light dressings, grilled lean meats, fruits and vegetables.
5. Make time for yourself and exercise! There will likely be days when you exceed your maximum calorie intake goal. Give yourself a break and offset occasional over-indulgences by exercising. Hitting the gym, running on the treadmill at home or just taking a brisk 15-minute walk around the neighborhood will help re-energize your body and your mood.
6. Tweak your holiday recipes to reduce the calories. I’ve offered some ideas on healthy ingredient substitutions in my previous posts. And remember, you aren’t throwing out the flavor just because you cut out the fat.
7. If you fall off the wagon, get right back on!! If you over-indulge a few times or skip several days of exercise, don’t give up. Focus on one day at a time and do your best to make healthy choices.