One of the biggest challenges this time of year is how to stay healthy (and look gorgeous) through the holiday season. It all starts with Halloween candy, and then we usually go on an eating binge right up until the last of the champagne is finished on New Year’s Eve. I have always struggled with keeping my weight in check. Some holidays I have been successful and some… not so much. But this year I am determined to not let it get the best of me. So here is my holiday season stay in shape plan…
Plan healthy options. I’m lucky enough to be a big part of the food planning in my family, so I try to find healthy versions of classic holiday foods. I also try to focus big meals around vegetables and protein and limit carbs. For Thanksgiving, for example, I will have several different vegetable options, but only one kind of potato (no, potatoes don’t count as a vegetable… that also goes for starches like butternut squash, yams, etc).
Don’t keep temptations in the house. There is no reason that you need Halloween candy in your house in September. Trust me, it won’t still be in your house by Oct 31st. No one needs Halloween candy, so I personally just shut off my lights and avoid trick-or-treaters all together. If you feel like you must pass out candy to the neighbor kids, then try hard candies that you have to eat slowly, or a type of candy that you don’t like. If you must indulge in some Halloween sweets, make your own. Which brings me to…
Only eat homemade. I try to keep it a rule that I don’t eat any baked goods, sweets, or desserts that I don’t make myself. Sometimes I slip, but for the most part it limits my indulgences. Making homemade sweets allows you to be in control of the ingredients, and cooking burns off calories so you feel less guilty.
Pick your splurges. Can’t imagine Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Dying to have your Grandmother’s brownies at Christmas? Go ahead, life’s too short to deprive yourself of ANY pleasures. However, pick the one or two indulgences that are meaningful and be more careful with everything else. Want candied yams with your turkey? Then skip the bread basket and mashed potato, and enjoy your yams.
Try to pick one “special” meal. If Thanksgiving dinner is important to you, then eat a light breakfast, and snack on veggies if dinner will be late. If you plan a big brunch and a big dinner in the same day you are bound to overdo your food intake and feel lousy afterward.
Ask yourself: How will I feel after I eat this? There are a lot of foods that we feel great eating, but feel gross afterward. I’m not talking about food guilt (that is unhealthy, so please don’t associate any food with guilt). I’m talking about your actual physical reaction. Does wheat/gluten make you feel painfully bloated? Do you have an awful time digesting dairy? The holidays should be about enjoying time with family and loved ones, try to eat food that make you feel happy, before and after you eat them.
Don’t forget to exercise. The holidays can get busy, and the weather can be bad this time of year, but do whatever it takes to motivate yourself to get in some physical activity. You’ll thank me after the holidays.
I’m focused on getting Red Carpet Ready….what will keep you motivated this holiday season?
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