Weight loss is hard- period. Do you know what’s even harder? Trying to lose weight anywhere between the period of October through January. February too. You have Halloween (the holiday of candy), Thanksgiving (the holiday of feasting), Christmas (an entire season of cookies and peanut brittle), and New Years (the holiday to drink). So, how do you stick to a healthy diet during these times, while allowing yourself to partake in some of the festivities?
It may be cliche, but it’s true: everything in moderation. You have to find a healthy balance between discipline and letting loose in order to live a life you enjoy. Let yourself have Thanksgiving dinner, and don’t starve yourself over Christmas either. As long as you have some sort of healthy balance, you will be just fine. It is very easy to fall off the wagon for the entire season, so be careful (I know, because it happened to me last year!). Just because it’s Thanksgiving and you know you will be throwing your diet out the window later doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat healthy the rest of the day. Keep in mind that buffet-type meals are usually the highest in calories, so try to fill up on plenty of veggies too.
Back Away From Your Children’s Candy
As much as I love the thought of binge eating Reese’s and Skittles, my trick or treating days are long over. Sure, my son gets more candy than I will ever allow him to eat, but that doesn’t mean that someone has to eat it. Where I’m from, many places take candy donations, and put them to good use. Feel better about yourself by giving away your kid’s rejected candy and avoid that post-binge depression that is inevitable.
Find Healthier Ways To Make Traditional Snacks
In this day and age, there is a healthier way to make anything and everything. Unless you live under a rock, you have Google and Pinterest at your disposal, so make the most of it! Simple swaps like using almond milk instead of dairy, honey or stevia instead of sugar, and coconut oil instead of butter or oil can make a world of a difference. Create a new (lower calorie) way to make your favorite Christmas cookies or Thanksgiving side dishes.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
This tip is applicable to everyday life, as well. You likely have no idea how many calories are in some of your favorite drinks, I’m willing to bet. Hot cocoa may seem like a harmless guilty pleasure on a cold night, but just one mug has almost 200 calories, and about 25 grams of sugar, and that’s not including the whipped cream or marshmallows! Ditch the eggnog, hot chocolate, and apple cider this year. Don’t waste your calories on your drinks, especially when there is such good food around to take its place. Opt for healthier beverages instead.
Don’t Get Carried Away At Meals
Every holiday meal used to be the same to me- I’d get my food and drink, eat, then go back up for more and repeat. I’d wait a good fifteen minutes and then I’d go back up and grab little handfuls here and there to snack on. It seemed harmless, but I was probably consuming way more calories than I needed too. When you are at meals served like a buffet, making smart decisions can make a huge difference. Eating more turkey, less potatoes and gravy, more veggies, and less stuffing is a simple way to be smart about it. Don’t feel like skipping pumpkin pie? Eat around the crust and that alone will save you tons of calories. Remember to eat slow and drink plenty of water with your meal, so that you are less likely to go back for seconds and over-stuff yourself.
I know it seems wrong to include the words “diet” and “holidays” in the same sentence, but your goals don’t accomplish themselves. Don’t forget what you have worked so hard for the rest of the year. Don’t obsess over it, either, because that is even more unhealthy. Having a healthy relationship with food is necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. Don’t kill yourself over that extra slice of pie, just brush yourself off and work it off in the gym!