For many people, the holidays are a time of celebrations and getting together with friends and family, which tends to go hand in hand with delicious, high fat, high-calorie foods, and drinks. This is not necessarily a bad thing! It is good to enjoy yourself and celebrate with loved ones.
However, there are ways to celebrate and indulge without overdoing it. You don't want to undo the work you've put into reaching your goals. Here are four tips to creating a healthy holiday mindset.
Mindset is crucial.
Your mindset is crucial in sticking to your lifestyle goals while also enjoying the holiday season. Instead of labeling foods as "good" or "bad," see all foods and drinks as okay in moderation. Think of foods or beverages with high sugar, simple carbohydrates, and saturated fats as special treats to be consumed less often and in moderation.
These foods are sweets, baked goods, alcohol, fried foods, creamy or greasy foods, etc. These are all okay to enjoy, but pay attention to the portion sizes and how often you are consuming them. Maybe decide to have a dessert once a week and keep it to small portion sizes instead of saying you won't allow yourself to eat any sweets this holiday season.
Feeling deprived or unsatisfied, especially when those around us enjoy these things, tends to backfire and cause us to eat more later on or completely abandon our healthy mindset of moderation. Research has shown that using restraint but allowing yourself the food or drinks you crave can cause a person to eat fewer calories overall in the long run.
Plan ahead of time.
Another way to help control the overall amount of extra calories you consume during the extended holiday season is to plan it out on your calendar ahead of time. Take a look at your schedule and choose five days when you want to indulge in some of those holiday treats.
On average, Americans will indulge on a total of 37 days during the holidays! By being mindful of this, you can cut out a lot of those extra calories and grams of sugar that can sabotage the hard work you have put in.
Try not to graze.
Grazing and snacking also seem to be common at holiday get-togethers. Being aware of how much you are munching on throughout your time at a gathering is also very important. We can eat quite a bit of extra calories by taking a few bites here and there over a few hours!
Snacking is okay; just be conscious of how much. You can also opt for healthier snacks, like veggie trays and hummus if available.
Don't stop working out.
Even though the holidays can create busier schedules, try to plan in sessions as regularly as possible. By getting exercise, you are keeping your metabolism working for you through the holidays.
So even if you can't come as often, look at your calendar and get a couple of sessions booked to hold yourself accountable to show up!
Hopefully, these tips can help you to enjoy this season without feeling deprived or guilty. It is all about that balance and moderation!