This time of year we’re surrounded by parties, friends, family, and food, all of which can give rise to conflicting emotions. There may be feelings of both joy and stress associated with all of these things as we try to balance a sense of anticipation and a desire to relax with what seems like a never ending to-do list. Oh, and did I mention that your favorite goodies keep appearing in front of you at the exact moment you’re feeling most overwhelmed? Sounds like a recipe for disaster!
Here are some tips for making it through the holidays in one (healthy) piece.
Set Goals You may have larger, long-term goals, but it can also be helpful to set short-term, more immediate goals. For example, at a party, resolve to take only a bite or two of a favorite dessert, or stick with a glass of wine rather than indulging in a sweeter drink (hot buttered rum comes in at over 400 calories). Enjoy yourself, while setting achievable limits that give you a sense of accomplishment.
Be Kind to Yourself We all give in to temptation at times. So just pick yourself up and start again. Remind yourself why you’ve set goals. Give yourself a pep talk and remember, you can do it!
Plan Ahead Party food may be delicious, but you don’t want to let it get in the way of reaching your weight-loss or health goals. Bring a side dish or a healthy dessert so you know you’ll have an option that will be satisfying and yummy. (Look here for recipe ideas.) Enjoy fresh vegetables and salad before reaching for less healthy options – you’ll feel sated and energized.
Socialize Rather than standing around eating, enjoy the interesting company of others around you. Find out more about a new acquaintance, or catch up with an old friend. Let the food take a back seat.
Reward Yourself But not with food. Acknowledge that you’ve accomplished your goal and feel proud – you earned it! Celebrate by heading out for a walk or spending time doing something that makes you feel great – light a candle and enjoy a bath, read a book, or grab a friend and go to the gym.