Thank you Kim for asking this question. An excellent question that I'm sure is on more than one mind out there.
Q. Holiday eating tips. Anything to really be careful of? Also, goodie baskets delivered to the office are a trap. How to avoid walking by & snacking on empty calories all day. Help.
A. Surviving the holidays while keeping your waistline in tact is challenging for even the most disciplined eaters. However, the holidays are a time to enjoy and to indulge. How can you do both and not slip back into old habits?
First tip: Acceptance. Accept that your life will be more hectic over the coming weeks, that your routine will be interrupted and that you will probably eat more and workout less with everything that’s going on. Know going in so you can deal with these challenges as they come up fully prepared. It’s not all or nothing.
Second tip: Stick to eating every 3-4 hours. If you’re tummy is full and your blood sugar is stable, you will be better prepared to deal with the little temptations that are scattered throughout the office. When your blood sugar is low, your cravings are physiological, which means, your body is sending messages to your head that you need to eat THAT! Right NOW! And LOTS and LOTS OF IT! When its stable, the craving is more psychological which means you want that, but you don’t necessarily NEED it, making it easier to enjoy these treats in moderation. Also, skipping meals all day because you have a big dinner that night could ruin the enjoyment of that meal. Keep your blood sugar stable, you’ll feel a lot better about all your choices through the holiday season.
Third tip: Don’t allow yourself to fall into the mind-set that “I’ll get back on track as soon as the holidays are over.” It’s a slippery slope my friend. You are building habits, lifestyle changes, with your health. You are creating balance within yourself, that means sometimes you’re going to be ‘bad’, but being ‘bad’ has a payoff, it tastes sooooo good! The price is that, yes, your body will store some fat. Just enjoy the moments and get right back on plan with your next meal. It’s okay to have that fabulous dinner for your holiday celebration, but it shouldn’t be the catalyst to going back into bad eating habits. If you over indulge in that meal, 3-4 hours later, have a protein with a fat (exclude the carbs) and it will help to re-stabilize your blood sugar and get you back on track. Tomorrow may provide another challenge, just take them as they come. Remember tip 1? You were prepared for this.
Fourth tip: Don’t ditch your entire workout routine. Getting back on that horse can be the hardest thing after the holidays. Keep working out. Stay active. Drink lots of water. It will help your energy level and your stress level. It’s only an hour out of your day. Make the time for yourself because YOU are the most important person. Another plus, you won’t feel guilty, another stressor you don’t need for the holiday season.
Like I said, it's not all or nothing. You can have your cake and eat it too. I know I will over the next few weeks.
Have a Great Weekend!