Healthy Holidays Challenge

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Well it is that time of year again the holiday parties have started and the food is spread and the drinks flow.....a little too much for most people. 

But maybe, just maybe this year you could start a new tradition?

Can you imagine what it would be like to go into the new year feeling light and happy, healthy and joyful?

Imagine not being a slave to the "new years resolution drama".

It is possible and really quite simple. Here are a few tips to help you make this year your healthiest christmas yet...

Be realistic: don't plan to "diet" during the holidays (or ever again for that matter). Being realistic, we all recognize that there will be times during the holidays that we will probably overinduldge. When it happens, savour every single bite, eat slowly so that you can truly enjoy it. It is only food. It will always be there!!!!

Plan ahead: you know when those big parties and dinners are going to be well ahead of time. Use your indulgences wisely and prepare by eating well the day of and maybe even a few days before a big event.

Don't eat your feelings: The holidays can be stressful. Don't use food as an escape from your feelings. Talk with a friend, journal, exercise, make crafts....just don't use food to numb yourself.

Eat regular meals and snack: Don't go to a party starving. Some people tend to "save up their calories" for later in the day to indulge at the party. This is a recipe for disaster - you will over eat and feel way worse! Eat your regular meals every few hours, when you are hungry, and have a normal sized meal at the event. Be sure to pay attention to your body while eating as well. Eat slowly and allow your body time to signal to you when you are getting full. You don't HAVE to finish everything on your plate just because it is there. One trick that works....lay down your fork between bites. Seriously, it slows you down and it works!!! 

Get your protein and veggies: I had to put this one in. I don't follow many food rules any more but this is one that still tops my nutrition priority list. Getting enough protein will keep you fuller longer and increase satiety of your meals. It is essential to keep your body properly fueled. Get your veggies is equally important for their vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Let everything else fill in the gaps.

Drink your water: This goes without saying, especially if you plan to induldge in some beverages during the season. Flush out the extra toxins, sugars, processed foods and chemicals that will inevitably make their way into your system.

Continue or begin a simple exercise regime: It's a busy time. Schedule your exercise like an appointment, keep it a priority and use it to your advantage. You'll be able to cope better with the emotional stress as well as work off some of the extra calories that you might consume. Anytime is the right time to start. You don't need any fancy equipment and a workout doesn't have to be an hour long. Sometimes just 15-20 minutes is all that you need. Just make it a priority and stay consistent. That is the only secret.

Focus on one choice at a time: In all of this it all boils down to choices. Try not to get overwhelmed and look at it as a month long challange. Look at each meal as it comes and make the best choices in that moment. Seek out healthy options especially for appetizers - there is almost always a fruit or veggie tray around! Take every commercial break during your favorite show to do a few exercises or get up a little earlier and hop on the treadmill and then enjoy a solid breakfast.

In the end, enjoy the holidays and plan ahead so you induldge without guilt. Life and food is meant to be enjoyed but you can't enjoy it without your health, in the long run it is far more "tasty" than the extra piece of cake or cookies.

If you need some extra support, come on over to my Facebook Page and check out my events. I have a challenge ongoing where people are tracking their exercise. Fifteen workouts between now and christmas. Social Accountability is my favorite tool for maintaining motivation for one reason and one reason only. It works!!!

Join the Facebook event today! (the link isn't working for some reason, so just come on over to FB and search Healthy Holidays Challenge or find it at the top on my page)

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