It’s the end of November which means a few things: colder weather, Black Friday deals, and the cold fact that you’re probably bracing yourself for the inevitable weight-gain that comes from the holiday season. Sure the holidays bring ‘great tidings’ and gorgeous decorations, but what about when it comes to those of us that are trying to stay healthy and/or trying to lose weight this time of year? Fear not my dear readers as I am securely in this both with you. Losing weight and attempting to stay healthy when there are plenty of temptations around can be hard. However, with some hard work, dedication, and some resilience, this holiday season will be one you don’t beat yourself up over. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years that I hope can help you stay happy, healthy and jovial.
Don’t beat yourself up
This is probably the most important point that I can share. I know how hard it can be to lose weight, especially during the holidays. The one thing to always remember though is to not beat yourself up over eating more. You don’t always have the foods that are offered, so having a little more of something during the day won’t kill you. Just remember to get back to your normal routine the next day. The best way someone has ever said this to me was that you’re not falling off the rails, you just took a detour, but you can always head back to the main tracks.
Try to stay occupied with fun activities that don’t revolve around food
Decorating gingerbread houses, doing a cookie swap or traveling to five different locations for the holidays can sound like a ton of fun (well, maybe not the last one as that’s pretty much mine and my sister’s lives every year), but there are other things you can do with friends and other loved ones that don’t revolve around a plate of food or candy. Trust me, I love candy and all things that are served during Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, there are other amazing things you can do together to celebrate this time of year. How about instead of a cookie swap you exchange wreaths? Ever thought about doing a DIY holiday craft day instead of gingerbread houses? These are all fun alternatives that will keep your mind off of the food.
Thanksgiving is one day, not a four-day feeding frenzy
While I do love Thanksgiving, the crazy food fest that occurs every third Thursday of November can really take a toll on my stomach and my body in general. What can be even more intense on my inner organs are the leftovers. The next few days don’t have to follow the Thursday meal that you just had. Try separating out the things you know you enjoy and are healthy from the things you’re not super in to having. This is just like with Christmas, too. Yes, it can be a 48 hours of family, friends and food, but you don’t have to try everything there is, or have to take home all of the leftovers that are offered to you. Listen to yourself and what you like.
If you can, plan ahead
Obviously this point is easier if you or a family member is actually hosting, but planning ahead can help you not feel overwhelmed or go nuts when you see all of the goodies in front of you. So think ahead at what you know will definitely be there. For instance, if it’s Thanksgiving, you know that there will be turkey, mashed potatoes and so on. So try swapping out the dark me for white, mashed potatoes for another vegetable choice and other things.