How To Stick To Your Goals During The Holiday Season
The holiday season is here!
And while that means plenty of celebrations and memory-making, it also probably means stressing over what to buy your parents, figuring out how to avoid your weird aunt at the annual holiday party, and of course, trying not to eat every baked good in sight.
Below are some tips to help you navigate the holiday season, feel your best, and maintain your goals.
Have a plan and stick to it.
Make a decision early on as to how you’re going to attack the day. Are you going to maintain your paleo or keto diet? Eat whatever you want in moderation? Maybe you prefer to avoid foods that make you feel less than your best. Or maybe you want to indulge in some foods you don’t eat regularly because it’s a special occasion. Regardless of what you choose to do, be mindful of your decision and stick to it.
Don’t give up on food prep.
Parties increase during the holiday season, yet they only provide a small percentage of your overall food intake. Focusing on your own food prep will help you stay accountable with your nutrition, even if you do indulge a bit here and there.
If you’re busy, keep it simple. Simplify what you’re cooking and how — the crockpot and instant pot can be super helpful during this season. If you know you’re not going to be able to cook, let us help! When you have delicious, healthy meals already prepared, you’re more likely to eat them.
Make sure your holiday parties have some healthy food options.
If you’re hosting, this is easy — you can decide the menu. If you’re not hosting, your host likely won’t complain if you ask to bring something. Prepare a healthy appetizer, side dish, or dessert. If you don’t want to cook, a veggie platter with guacamole is quick and easy. Look at this as a chance to convince others that healthy food doesn’t need to be tasteless! Some great sites for paleo holiday recipes include www.stupideasypaleo.com and www.paleomg.com.
Start your day off right.
What you eat in the morning influences how you’ll eat (and feel) the rest of the day. Having a healthy, balanced breakfast — especially when you have holiday parties later in the day — ensures you set a strong foundation.
If you skip breakfast or eat something that’s high in sugar and refined carbs, you’ll set your body off on a blood-sugar roller coaster for the rest of the day. Instead, start with a nutrient-dense breakfast of quality protein, fats, and non-starchy vegetables to boost nutrients and get a good dose of fiber to support your digestion. Our Eggwhite Beef and Spinach Breakfast is a great example.
Stop to think before you eat. When contemplating a food or drink you normally don’t consume, think about how eating/drinking it will make you feel. Will it cause you to feel bloated? Will it send you on a downward spiral and trigger you to want more less-than-healthy foods/drinks? Or maybe the opposite: Will this satisfy you so you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself?
Only you know how foods/drinks will make you feel, so taking time to think about it before indulging will help you make the best decisions. And of course, while you’re eating, slow down to really taste and enjoy your food.
Choose your drinks wisely.
The alcoholic drinks flow during the holiday season. While alcohol is a toxin regardless of its form, some choices are much better than others. Try to avoid calorie-dense, sugar-filled beverages like eggnog and coquito. Limit beer consumption — most are high in carbs and can cause digestive distress due to gluten. Instead stick with naturally gluten-free hard cider, gluten-free beer, wine, and liquors on the rocks or mixed with seltzer and fresh fruit. SpikedSeltzer is an ideal option that’s made from purified water, natural ingredients, and fresh fruit flavors.
If you choose to drink alcohol, stay hydrated and be conscious of the fact that alcohol lowers inhibitions. If you choose not to drink, water is always a great choice. Or, seltzer and kombucha tea are both delicious, bubbly drinks that can help you feel like you’re participating while staying booze-free.
Prioritize activity and training. Although your schedule may fill with obligations like parties, gift shopping, and cooking, maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help you manage stress and offset food indulgences. You don’t need to go to the gym every day — push ups, air squats, burpees, planks and sit ups can be used for an intense, do-anywhere workout!
Holidays will always involve food, so it’s important to enjoy what you eat. If you indulge in foods/drinks you don’t normally do, don’t beat yourself up. Eating well isn’t all or nothing — it’s about flexibility and balance. How you come back from veering off path is what really matters.
It’s also important to think about the bigger picture: holidays are about spending time with people you love, and maybe don’t see often. So try not to stress over the food and drinks and focus on the family and friends this holiday season is all about!