The holidays are fast approaching! In fact, Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday. Everyone is busy shopping. The very organized individual has perhaps planned their events since before the beginning of the month. The holidays are a time for family near and far to spend time together. Businesses give out crazy sales and everyone spends more money. Travel increases and the industry makes more money. It is a real madness!
While all the activities are great, some of us get nervous around this time of the year because of: food. We are presented with pies, cakes, cookies, comfort food, and specialties galore. The holidays can be debilitating for those that are trying to be conscious of their health. Nervous that they may not be able to control themselves and go into a binge-fest.
The truth is, a day or two of eating and drinking your favorites will not derail you. It is what you do after that derails you. If all the eating causes you to spiral into your old unhealthy habits, then take some time now to prepare your mind before the festivities.
1. First and foremost, it's okay to enjoy your favorites during this time and eat them to your delight.
2. Plan when you're going to resume your healthy regimen. Choose to start immediately after the festivities. Don't put too much power into the events. It is a day just like any other day in your life! Rather, look forward to meeting your favorite people!
3. Don't eat as if you will never get to enjoy your favorites again. This mindset contributes to binging and makes it difficult to resume your regimen afterward. Think as if you can always have your faves when you want but you rather choose when to indulge.
3. Take your time when eating. Savor every bite. Chew every bite for 15 seconds. Yes, you can eat quickly and go for seconds but the moment is pleasurable when you thoroughly taste all the flavors. It also signals to your brain better when you're full. You may not need seconds after all.
4. Remember it is just food. It is not your weakness. The food tastes great and has great flavor. Do not put emotional weight behind something that is meant to fuel you. Rather, focus your attention on the people you love that you're reconnecting with and the great conversation you're having. Don't give power to the food!
5. You can even make healthier versions of your favorites! There are a ton of recipes for healthier versions of everything. This may be a great conversation starter about your healthy lifestyle.
6. Eat before your event. If you feel that it's best, have a healthy snack before you go to your event so that you're not ravenous by the time you arrive. Keeping your blood sugar stabilized prevents overeating. Eat before you leave so you can have smaller servings of your favorites!
7. Do you really need seconds? Or are you just going for more because it tastes good? If you're still hungry, help yourself for more. But remember, how does it feel when you overeat? Sleepy? Lethargic? Nauseous even? Is it worth it? Think about these things before you reach for more food. These types of events induce pleasure around food and that's fine but we can still be in control of how much power we let it have on us. At the end of the day, it is just food. Nothing more!
8. Find other activities that are happening at the event to keep you away from eating more. Remember, it's a time for connecting and rekindling. Focus on that! Usually, there are games, conversations, or outdoor activities occurring at the event. Go burn some energy and spend quality time instead of helping yourself to another unnecessary plate!
9. Eat the protein and veggies first before the carbohydrates. Protein fills you up and keeps you satiated for a long period of time. Your body burns carbohydrates quickly and has you desiring for more even when you don't need it. Enjoy the proteins first so you're less filled up on the carbohydrates.
10. Don't take leftovers. What? Yes! Your treat day started and ends at that event. Don't contribute to your struggle by bringing in that pie so that it lasts an extra few days in your house. Perhaps, take leftovers of proteins and veggies because they are healthy but keep the sugary carb-loaded food at that event!
These are some useful tools to help you manage yourself around all the holiday eating and drinking. If you do try some of these tips, comment below and share how they helped you!