Holiday Hacks. How to enjoy the holidays without sacrificing your health.
With the holiday season in full swing there are more opportunities than ever to indulge. Trying to strike up the right balance of indulgence and healthy eating can be tricky. Especially if you tend to overeat and/or feel like your willpower is MIA.
The right balance will be different for everyone. It depends on your current health status, your mindset towards food, and how sensitive you are to eating unhealthy food. The best way to find out what the right balance for you is to listen to your body.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY TALK.
Your body is constantly trying to communicate to you through signs and symptoms. If you overeat and feel like crap the next day, that is your body telling you to lay off the sweets. Your body will inform you when you’ve had enough. Common signs and symptoms are:
- Sugar Buzz
- Stiffness in Joints
- Increase in Cravings
- Food Guilt
These signs can come on instantly or take a couple hours to kick in.
It is important to listen to your body AND respect what it has to say. When you start to exhibit symptoms that you have overindulged, then it’s time to turn your attention on nourishing foods and the festive environment surrounding you.
Find some balance
For instance, for every cookie eat five carrots. Most parties have a veggie tray. You can always bring a healthy dish you enjoy so you have something good to eat. If you are traveling, bring healthy snacks with you.
Change your mindset
We often think of sweets as a reward or something we deserve. However, this way of thinking leads to an unhealthy relationship with food. We are not entitled to eat sweets because it is a holiday. This mindset leads us to overeat and feel riddled with guilt the next morning. Which typically leads to calorie restriction to try to balance out what we ate the night before. This is not a healthy relationship with food nor is it good for your overall health. Our motive for eating sweets should be one of appreciation and enjoyment. Be thankful for the holiday season and the treats that go along with it. When we savor and truly enjoy the experience of holiday treats, it leaves us feeling satisfied and guilt free. When are motive is one of entitlement where we feel like we deserve to indulge and eat all the sweets, it leaves us feeling horrible and full of guilt.
Focusing more on the experiences you will have with your friends and family over the holidays instead of what foods you look forward too can help shift your enjoyment you get from the holiday season from festive sweets to experiences. Changing your mindset takes time, effort, and conscious thinking. If you really want to get through the holiday season guilt free and feeling fine, then changing your mindset is a must.
Mindful eating allows you to really enjoy what you are eating. This leaves you feeling more satiated and less likely to overindulge. For some mindful eating tips click here.
Enjoy whatever you are eating
If you’re not enjoying it, whether it’s due to feeling racked with guilt, or someone fucked up the recipe. Throw it away! You are under no obligation to finish eating whatever is on your plate. Try not to look at it as wasting food, instead look at it as doing what’s best for your body and health.
- Carry around water. Staying well hydrated will help negate any over-indulging side effects you might get. It also can help you from over-indulging in the first place. To find out how much you should be drinking each day, click here.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Overfilled your tank? Take 1tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar in some water. Raw apple cider vinegar contains enzymes, probiotics, and acetic acid that help break down your food. This helps reduce the symptoms of overeating.
- Bring a healthy dish or come armed with healthy snacks
- This way if you want to eat healthy you have the option to.
Do the best you can
We are all human. Our choices, good or bad, help us grow. Be patient with yourself, show yourself love, respect, and kindness. Learn from your experiences and keep on keepin on.
For a free healthy swap handout click here!