The holiday season is the most common time of the year to put on a few pounds. We start to shift our focus and routines to sharing time with love ones and binge eating on a buffet of comfort foods. Here are five helpful tips to you enjoy the holiday season without going up a notch or two in your belt.
1. Don't spend the whole day inside
Now that you have more time away from the office, your days may feel less productive.
Plan a fun activity to keep your bum off the couch. It may be the last thing you feel like doing as you've unwined from the all the responsibilities and demanded hustles from the year, but when you're stressed out, going for a walk or expending some energy can actually make you feel better! Research has found that exercising or staying in motion can actually boost your mood for up to 12 hours.
2. Spread out your meals
Don't overeat. Stuffing yourself to the point of discomfort only hinders your digestion. I know that dinner table looks overly appetizing, but take a taste of everything you want to try and leave out the heaping spoonfuls. Spreading out your "small" meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism up and help you burn off excesses calories.
3. Plan out your menu
Nobody wants to feel left out when your holiday favorites only come around once a year! This is the best time to be mindful and practice moderation. Holidays don't mean you have to sabotage yourself and eat poorly. You can still have a little dessert, a glass of wine, or your Mom's homemade stuffing. Just have a plan in place and eat moderately. Remind yourself this is a special occasion and you're going to resume fueling your body properly the very next day. Having foods that are different from your norm can be a good thing every once in a while, and it can provide a jolt to your metabolism.
If you are the one cooking, cook for the day. If not, say no to the leftovers. Excessive leftovers lurking in your fridge can lead to binging on multiple days to follow. Remember we are practicing mindfulness. We allowed ourself to have our little cheat day and now we are resuming our normal routine.
5. Keep to a routine
Keeping a strong routine even while you aren't following your normal 9-5 routine can keep you on track and help you escape feelings of becoming overwhelmed and anxious. If you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your holiday agenda, don't overschedule your time and take on more than you can manage. Remember, it's OK to slow down a bit.
We go overboard to please others during the holidays: shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event. Instead, take care of yourself by saying "no" once in a while.
Prioritize your workouts, your "me time", etc., and don't try to squeeze in more holiday celebrating then you can manage. You don't need to obsess over doing it all. The world is not going to end if the house is a little cluttered or dinner is on the table a few minutes late. Focus your energy on enjoying the season and the people that enrich the experience. Don't sweat the small stuff and your holiday will be much more enjoyable!