Winter Holiday Survival Guide
People always ask me how to survive the holidays. No wonder since gains of 10-15 lbs of new fat are not uncommon. It’s a challenge for me too! This is a bloated list, so pick a few of these proven methods that resonate with you.
1. Bring healthy food to a party and watch the social experiment unfold! First, prepare to be singled out and publicly mocked, as the group, lightly teases you for your offering (possibly due to their insecurity). You are now “The Healthy Person”. Later, individuals will approach you and quietly praise you, and want to emulate your behaviour. Someone will tell you (in detail) how great their nutrition is. Then, if and when you do actually have a treat they jump all over you. You try to explain “balance,” but it is no use. Your status as “The Healthy Person” has been revoked. No wonder people don’t bring healthy stuff!
Hey I didn’t say it’d be easy. But now you know what to expect. You get used to it…
2. Enjoy in moderation the treats you love. Savour every succulent moment. Avoid the treats you barely enjoy. Don’t eat when full. This is healthy eating.
3. Don’t feel guilty. Accept that you went off track a few days and move past it. Don’t wait until January 3, 2011 to “get back on track” …even though I hate that expression, it applies here.
4. Plan to stay relatively on track. Be positive. Don’t say negative things like, “This is going to be a write-off” or “This always happens.” Clients who work with me say things like, “Although it wasn’t perfect, this was the healthiest holidays I’ve had in 10 or 20 years.” This year it could be you saying that. Keep reading.
5. Be realistic. Set a goal to be a little healthier than last year. Like four write-off days instead of five. That’s awesome! Good job!
6. Don’t pause your trainer! If you need them in normal life, how can you succeed without them during the hardest time of year? If you leave town, get one where you’re going. Or book phone sessions with your coach.
7. Leave room for dessert. 500 extra calories is better than 1500. Being stuffed means low energy, decreased chances of being active and cravings later.
8. Watch for triggers like organizational stress, In-laws, home cooking, traditional meals, – any association can trigger unmindful eating. You need to see them coming to overcome them. “Notice and Name” your anxiety. Take a deep breath. Slowly exhale.
9. Drink more water especially between meals.
10. Don’t consume out of social obligation. It’s your body! Try comebacks like, “Oh! That looks lovely! Thank you but I am full.” In grade two we learned to say NO when people crossed our boundaries (I can sing you the song we learned). Yet I hear grown ups telling me all the time that they ate something out of obligation.
11. High intensity exercise (even ten minutes worth) before a treat meal can mitigate or nullify the extra calories. Google “Tabata.”
12. Go carolling. This will burn calories and it’s good clean fun. Don’t accept invitations to go inside. Instead, get your neighbours to come with you. If the police are called, everyone split up and meet back at Mom’s.