The holiday season is finally here…. I find the time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day to be the hardest month to stick to healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. Truthfully, it all begins with Halloween and all the leftover candy. There is constant temptation from desserts, sweet treats, unhealthy fats, and just way too much food in general.
Today I want to share 5 tips that have helped me stay on track year after year. So when it’s time to welcome 2017, you will have maintained your weight, or you might have even shed some!
1. Stay hydrated. When you go to a party, and there will be many, be sure you alternate high calorie drinks like alcohol, eggnog, cocktails or hot chocolate, with water, infused water or sparkling water. These holiday drinks can have a lot of hidden calories and sugar, so watch out! Enjoy a few and be sure to balance it out with water. This will also alleviate hangover symptoms, you will be grateful the next morning!
2. Eat several small meals. During the holiday season we tend to skip meals and indulge in one big holiday meal at a party or family dinner. This year let’s do things a little differently… instead of starving yourself all day, eat some healthy snacks throughout the day, and most importantly be sure to have a healthy balanced breakfast. This will help you stay on track and not overeat. These changes although small, will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep you energized… no need to spend the entire day being HAngry from not eating for hours, or be the first to pass out from overeating!
3. Indulge mindfully. Enjoying food and sweet treats is very much part of enjoying the holidays. Instead of looking at it as an all or nothing, we want to shift from this extreme mentality that leaves us feeling emotionally deprived and ready to go overeat until January. Instead, let’s practice mindful indulgence, so when you decide to eat a treat: taste it, savor it, chew slowly and have one portion. Learning to indulge mindfully is a powerful practice that will ensure satisfaction and long term success
4. Stay active. This season is busy, busy, busy with lots of gift shopping and grocery shopping on the list… so why not use the busy shopping season and burn off some calories? If you are heading to the mall to buy some Christmas gifts or to the grocery store, park a little further, or take your time and do some window shopping. Instead of driving to mail your gifts, walk to the post office. Remember, Every step counts. Personally, I love using a pedometer on my smart phone to see how much progress I’ve made… it all adds up, plus it motivates me to log in more steps!
5. Schedule time to relax. We spend so much of our time taking care of our loved ones that we often forget to take care of ourselves. Although the holidays are nourishing in their own way, they can be overwhelming and stressful. Many of us, me included, tend to indulge in food when we are stressed. So this year, schedule some time just for YOU. Take a relaxing bath, meditate, read your favorite book, get your nails done, or simply go for a walk. Do whatever helps you calm down and de-stress. Make this a priority, you are worth it!
Above all, enjoy the holidays and remember they are not only about food, but most importantly they are about spending quality time with family and friends. This can be nourishing in itself. Have fun and enjoy that occasional sweet treat.
For years I lost myself in the holidays and somehow arrived in January bloated, unhappy and feeling so off track…do you feel that way too? Let’s do things a little different this year and welcome 2017 feeling GREAT, while not skipping that slice of pumpkin pie. Sustainable health is not about restriction; it’s about balance. With implementing a few tips and tricks for this holiday season, you’ll enjoy yourself while feeling great.
I know how hard it can be, that is why I put together a Holiday Survival Guide so I can share my best tips for managing stress, enjoying your favorite holiday treats without overindulging, and learning how to stay in touch with your body during this often hectic time. You’ll also find my 4-Day Post-Holiday Healthy Reset Plan with recipes, shopping list and suggested meals. Get your copy here >>> Holiday Survival Guide
I’m Farah El-Hadidy. I specialize in helping busy women and men put health back on top of the priority list through practical tips and strategies that deliver REAL results.
I received my Health Coaching training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, NY in 2012. I practice in Boston, MA where I support clients both locally and globally via phone or internet. I also offer workshops and corporate workshops.
My background of 10 years in the corporate world, government contracting industry, and now as a busy mom to a busy two year old, and Health Coach running my own private practice… I know first-hand the pressures and challenges of busy, stressed out women and men who are juggling a number of things at the same time.
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