Can you believe it, the holiday season is upon us, and for some us this can be the most stressful time of the year as we try to navigate the office parties and family gatherings while trying to get stick with your wellness plan. It can be especially daunting in midlife, because the weight just does not come off as quickly as it used too, believe me I know. It’s crucial to stick with our wellness plans so that we don’t have to keep starting over, which can play havoc on us both physically and mentally. I want to share with you five strategies that you can use to have fun this holiday season without stressing over what you’re going to eat. Now, whether you decide to use one or all five, I promise you won’t regret it.
I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away, and the holiday office gathering s have already started. If you’re like me the holiday season has always been both a blessing and curse. I admit that it wasn’t just the time spent with family and friends gathered around the Thanksgiving table, the happy giggles of my children as they raced to open their Christmas gifts, the fancy drinks at the New Year’s Eve Party and my mom’s pork roast (when I ate meat) and black eye pea dinner that made me giddy for the holiday season.
It was actually the relief of kicking whatever eating plan/diet I was on aside and throwing myself holiday appetite first into the delicious and delectable foods of the season. This was the one time of the year when overeating was not only acceptable, it was expected. I told myself it was my right to take a break from counting calories, weighing my food, and logging every morsel of food I put in my mouth. And like the millions of fellow dieters around me, I promised myself that I would start over again January 1st, or 2nd.
Then I became prediabetic, and I realized that my yo-yo dieting had to come to an end if I wanted to reduce my chances of becoming type 2 diabetic. Because ladies, prediabetes is reversible just by making small lifestyle changes. You can use these five strategies to get you through the holiday season, but you can also use them to stick to your wellness goals throughout the year. No more yo-yo dieting. Yeah!
Our first strategy is my favorite, and this really helped me to learn how to plan my meals and eat what I wanted.
Strategy one: Stop Classifying Foods as Good or Bad and Begin to Eat Mindfully.
Foods are neither good nor bad, it’s how we consume them that puts us at risk wreaking our healthy eating plans. Approach your meal mindfully, this will reduce your anxiety, take your plate and fill half of it with fresh fruit, veggies, and salads-on the other side enjoy a small serving of your favorite foods, remember the holiday season lasts six weeks at least, so you don’t have to eat everything in one sitting. Eat slowly and savor the experience, it can take at least 20 minutes for your brain to signal that you’re full.
Strategy two: Don’t and Skip Meals
It can be tempting to try to save all your daily calories for one big meal. In my mind, I was actually doing myself a favor. But, actually, I was starving myself and making it easy to overeat during my one meal of the day. I was so hungry and ate so fast that I sometimes didn’t even enjoy the food, and ended up with indigestion or an upset stomach. Instead of skipping meals, try to stick to your regular eating schedule. This will prevent your blood sugar from dropping and your body from going into starvation mode.
Strategy three: Don’t Skip Your Exercise Routine
It can be easy to put off exercising during this time of year. Who has time to fit in a workout during the never-ending scheduled festivities? According the CDC, “your workout will act as your secret weapon; it can help make up for eating more than usual and reduce your stress levels during the most stressful time of the year.”
Strategy four: Get Your Rest
The holiday season is lovely, but it can take its toll physically. When you’re sleep deprived your body will crave foods high in fat and sugar to provide you with the energy you need to get through the day.
Strategy five: Take Your Own Food
If you’re invited to a party and you want to ensure that there are healthier food options, bring your own dish. This year I will be bringing some tasty vegetarian/vegan dishes to add to the feast. Bringing your own food will take stress out of what you’re going to eat, and you can share your healthier food options with everyone in attendance.
These tips can help you stick to your wellness goals throughout the year. Wellness is a lifestyle, not a temporary state of mind. To be successful, we have to plan for success. To recap:
- Eat mindfully and, enjoy experience and savor your favorite foods- stop when you’re full
- Don’t skip meals aim at keeping your blood sugar steady all day this will help you to prevent overeating
- Don’t skip your workout: short on time break your exercise routine into two 15-minute intervals.
- Get some rest: the holiday season is stressful maintain a regular sleep pattern will help you to continue to burn calories and build lean muscle
- Bring your own food: invited to a party bring a dish, you can enjoy your healthier options and so will the other guest.
You can enjoy the season and with a little planning, stick to your wellness goals. You have the power to succeed. I believe in us!
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