A few weeks ago, we discussed some common problems that come up for women who are trying to stay healthy during the holidays. We also went over a few solutions you can have ready in your toolkit to stay on top of your goals but still enjoy yourself and find a balance.
Today I wanted to dive into some of the other issues that come up for many women I have worked with during this time. With my help, you will be able to feel great about yourself but still feel like you were able to relax, unwind and celebrate the holidays.
Keep reading for more tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays! Let’s get into it.
Chocolates, freshly baked cookies, wine, cinnamon buns… I could go on and on listing the temptations we face around the holidays.
The countless gatherings and social events during the festive season present multiple opportunities to make less-than-ideal food choices and often make us wonder how to stay healthy during the holidays.
There are a few things you can do to help overcome your temptations. When you know you are going to be attending an event filled with delicious treats and enticing beverages, plan to eat a balanced, nutrient-rich meal earlier in the day and a snack 1-2 hours before you go. This will help you stay full and arrive at the event feeling balanced instead of starving which we all know can totally throw our plan to practice portion control out the window!
Another idea is to bring a healthy dish to share with others so that you have at least one nutritious option available that you know you will enjoy. Many people look at a holiday table spread and don’t see how vegetables or something “healthy” can fit in. But it’s actually quite easy to sneak some nutritious foods into our holiday spread and I can almost guarantee that others will appreciate your health-conscious efforts.
You could try making a warm seasonal salad, a comforting casserole with hidden veggies, or even swap the mashed potatoes for mashed sweet potatoes.
The important thing to remember when it comes to overcoming temptation is that sometimes we will indulge and that is okay. Restricting ourselves from indulging in any of these treats can lead to feelings of deprivation, restriction and scarcity. Not allowing ourselves any flexibility and being rigid with our diet can actually lead to overeating.
Be kind and patient with yourself.
During the holiday season, time becomes a precious commodity. We are often running on a completely different schedule during this time and staying on track of our goals can become overwhelming. But even with all of the office parties, children’s recitals, and family dinners, we can still learn how to stay healthy during the holidays.
One of my best and most helpful pieces of advice is to plan your meals and snacks in advance and consider meal prepping over the weekends when you are bound to have a bit more time. This will save you time during the busy week and ensure you have healthy options readily available.
Additionally, it’s important to prioritize self-care and find small windows of time to engage in physical activity or relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
Do you have 30 minutes while your holiday pie bakes in the oven? Do a 15-minute stretching video in your living room. Are your kids bored at home? Take them sledding at a neighbourhood park! Lugging your kids up and down that hill is as good cardio as the treadmill!
If you work with your schedule and not against it, you will be able to find the time to stay healthy during the holidays.
Many people choose to spend the holiday season away from their own homes. Traveling can pose unique challenges for someone who is trying to maintain a nutritious eating routine and stay healthy during the holidays.
But, I strongly believe that there are things we can do that will help us stay on track with our goals while also feeling in control and balanced.
Packing nutritious snacks such as fresh fruit such as sliced apples, nuts such as pistachios, or protein bars such as the RX bars can help you avoid relying solely on airport or gas station food. Staying hydrated is also crucial for your health, energy levels and appetite, so remember to carry a water bottle with you.
You can also look for restaurants wherever you are that offer healthier options and practice mindful eating which involves listening to your body when you are full, =. Many people think of vacations as “write-offs” and can revert to old negative eating patterns so it’s important to try to behave as you would in your normal routine (practicing mindful eating, choosing mostly whole foods, stopping when you are comfortably full, etc). If this feels difficult, just do the best you can and again, remain flexible, and be patient with yourself.
This time of year can be disruptive to many women who have embarked on a health and weight loss journey, causing them to feel anxiety that they will not be able to hit their goals or stay healthy during the holidays.
During the holiday season, however, it’s important to focus on realistic and achievable goals that acknowledge the inevitable holiday hustle and bustle, or we will just set ourselves up for disappointment and self-loathing feelings.
Instead of focusing solely on weight loss or strict restrictions, aim to maintain your current weight and make small, sustainable improvements to your eating habits. Celebrate non-scale victories like increased energy levels, improved mood, or mindful eating practices. Setting achievable goals allows you to enjoy the festivities without feeling overwhelmed.
Embrace the spirit of the season, and remember that small, sustainable changes can lead to meaningful progress.
Learning how to stay healthy during the holidays can seem like an impossible task for some women. But by setting realistic goals, staying as active as you can, and making conscious nutritional choices, you can navigate the holidays without compromising your goals.
If you need additional support during this time, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
May your holidays be filled with joy, gratitude, and love. Cheers to a healthy and happy holiday season. And always remember to embrace this wonderful season without guilt, savouring both the festivities and your commitment to your journey!