If you are anything like me, you love the holidays. It’s time you get to spend with friends and family. The air is filled with fresh pine. The lights glisten on the tree. It’s just amazing. It’s like being in a lifetime holiday movie. Maybe a little less cheesy.
Unfortunately, I also dread all the calories that will be looming on the table, screaming “Eat Me”! No gingerbread cookies, thank you.
I’ve been preparing for the Christmas holiday since thanksgiving dinner. I wake up at five in the morning for my HIIT workouts five days a week. My diet is on point. I’ll even workout Christmas to burn those last minute calories before the big dinner. Why? Christmas is also my birthday. I’m not turning down my traditional birthday sweet potato pie.
Below, I’ve included 10 simple strategies you can use to survive the holidays. The point is to enjoy yourself while making smart & healthy choices. Later this week, I will also share my Christmas workout on Instagram.
- Don’t Leave the House hungry
- Before you head out for your holiday event, make sure you fill yourself up with something healthy, like a big salad, protein shake or just some fruit and veg. This way you will most likely avoid mindless snacking at the party.
- Listen to your body
- “Are you really hungry? Do you need more?” Be aware of your body signals, especially your hunger. If you feel a hunger pang, wait another 30-60 minutes to make sure it is the real hunger and not just a craving.
- Plan Beforehand
- When going to a festive party or event make a detailed plan for what you want to allow yourself to eat/drink and place limits for yourself. For example, plan to eat one portion of protein with vegetables, one dessert, and two drinks. Or limit yourself to two plates and two glasses. A plan will make you aware of the urge to overeat / overdrink.
- Don’t settle by the food table
- Don’t eat just because others are eating. Make sure you don’t just pick up snacks from the table. If you eat, always take what you want onto a plate and from there follow the 50% rule.
- 50% Rule
- Eat only 50% of what is on your plate, and then assess if you need more. If you don’t feel full, then eat another 50% of what is left on your plate and so on.
- Stop when 80% Full
- You don’t need to finish everything that is on your plate, follow the 50% rule and stop when you feel 80% full.
- Log What you Eat
- Eat Slowly
- Savor every bite you take and chew up to 15 times per mouthful. Eating slowly will make sure your brain has time to receive the ‘full-up’ signal from your stomach.
- Drink Water
- Make sure to always have a glass of water with you, refilling it during the event/party. This great habit will not only keep you hydrated and help you avoid the hangover, but it will also keep your stomach fuller.
- No Guilt Treats
- Allow yourself to have what you want. This doesn’t mean mindless eating but treating yourself without guilt to something you like or crave. Choose wisely and enjoy every bite.
I hope these simple strategies help you to get through Christmas and New Year’s. Comment below if you have your own strategies.