The holiday season is fast approaching, with Christmas in just a couple days and many of us, even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, have probably experienced that festive seasonal event that often involves lots and lots of food! This abundance of food and festivities is often associated with weight gain, bloating or the well-known food baby and food comas.
So how can we survive the holiday season without counting calories and following a strict diet plan? Here are 10 tips to thrive this holiday season:
Find your fullness:
This is the key to surviving the holiday season and yet it is often ignored during the holiday season. Learning your body’s signals for hunger and satiety is really important. To become familiar with this signal, mindful eating is key. This involves slowing down while eating and remove distractions like your TV, phone and or your computer. At first, you might want to eat slowly and really focus on eating and how you feel before and after eating. Mindful eating is a practice, so it can take some time to learn the process. As you become more familiar with the sensation and learn the practice of mindful eating you will be better able to judge, it will be easier to determine whether or not your hungry and to find your fullness.
Alcohol has more calories than you would think. Seven calories per gram! That is also almost as many calories per gram as fat (9 calories/gram) and almost double that of carbs and protein at 4 calories per gram. A 5 oz glass of wine has 120 calories which is the same amount of calories in 2 Shortbread cookies (from Pepper Ridge Farm) or you could have a pina colada, which is one of my favorites, that can be up to 400 calories in one drink which could equal a full meal of food.
Staying active is really important as this will help regulate blood sugar levels and will help with the digestion of the food that you do eat. HOWEVER, activity should not be a punishment! The activity should fun and something that you enjoy. This can be as simple as a 30-minute walk or cleaning the house.
Avoid the grazing
The holidays are a prime time for endless food. Meals are preceded by snacks and proceeded by deserts and more sweet treats. This long-term eating can raise your blood sugar levels. Elevated sugar levels will lead to an increase in fat storage which can lead to the holiday weight gain that often happens. By avoiding grazing, you can lower your blood sugar levels which can help prevent the holiday weight gain.
The holiday season can put a lot of pressure for perfection on people. I’m speaking as a perfectionist myself. We can all get caught up in the details and loose connection with the actual meaning of the holiday season. So, release the need for everything to go perfectly and reconnect with the true meaning of the holiday. Focus on gratitude and spending time with loved ones which were really the true propose of the holiday season.
So, this holiday season be mindful of your food choices, spend time with your friends and family and enjoy the holiday season. Happy Holidays!