The best part of the holidays, aside from time spent with family and friends, is the FOOD!
I know that for many of you, who struggle with stress eating and years of yo-yo dieting, this time of year can also be a very emotional time. Certain people and foods can be a trigger for the diet mentality and easily push us toward the restrictive/binging eating behaviour.
I truly believe that there is a way that you can enjoy the holidays in a more peaceful way, without the guilt and other uncomfortable feelings.
Here are some steps to help you get started toward finding more balance with food during the holidays:
- Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays. Focus on maintaining the results that you have worked toward thus far and continue incorporating the healthy rituals that are already working for you. Allow yourself to really enjoy those moments with friends and family, which can include your favourite holiday foods. The trick is to be present in the moment, appreciate the taste and smell of the food, and the environment you’re in. This practice will help you get out of the never ending cycle of the black and white diet mentality and actually allow you to enjoy your food without guilt.
- Don’t set a date in January to go on a diet. We all have those really high expectations for those new years resolutions, but the truth is, when you set a date in the future to go on another diet, the anticipation of food restriction sets you up for a binge type eating behaviour. This keeps you stuck in a cycle of gaining and losing that 10-15 pounds.
- Move your body. Focus on moving your body in a way that brings you joy, without the intention of losing weight. Use this time to make your body and mind feel good, connect, release stress hormones, and regulate your appetite. Best options would be yoga, Barre, pilates, nature walks/jogs, or a fun dance class like Zumba. Put it into your schedule like you would any other important appointment and invite a friend to join you!
- Healthy morning routine. This is so essential – often times, the way you start your day sets the intention for the rest of the day. What’s more, you are able to regulate your hormones (which control your hunger, mood, energy, and weight) by having a healthy smoothie or a higher protein/fat based meal like an omelette with veggies. Check out my winter smoothie recipe here.
- Have a healthy blood sugar stabilizing snack before heading out to events, dinners, and parties. This will help you feel more in control of cravings and help you make decisions from a place of logic rather than emotional cravings. Great options would include – an apple with 1 Tbsp of almond butter, 10 walnuts with 1/2 blueberries, 1/2 cup hummus with cucumber.
- Drink more water. No matter how busy it gets, make sure to have water with you everywhere! Put a jug on your office desk, keep a glass or stainless steel water bottle in your car, wake up with a big water with lemon on your night stand and drink it first thing in the morning. It will help to lower stress hormones, increase your energy, and flush out toxins. Herbal teas are especially helpful – try lemon balm or chamomile to keep you calm and carry on!
There you have it, I hope you truly enjoy this holiday season and all the magic and peace that it has to offer (along with my soup).
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