By Nicolette M. Pace MS,RD,CDE,CDN,CFCS
Three Holiday Eating & Lifestyle Don’ts
1) Dump traditions that ultimately take you further and further away from a healthy lifestyle and mess up your health goals.When you give in to overindulging you will only beat yourself up in the New Year. Stay focused!
Recognize that this is a great time to ring in new healthy habits. This can set the course for a great year of health and well being.
2) Ditch social occasions that are not really where you want to be or with whom you do not care to be with.Recognize that celebrating the holiday with food should be limited. It may involve as little as one day in the month or as much one weekend day in the month.
Spending the entire season going to parties that demand you eat will cause a 10 pound holiday weight gain. Do not underestimate environmental influences like peer pressure. This can lead you to compromise your diet.
3) Deny disappointment by not setting yourself up for failure with unrealistic expectations of how the holidays should be. Comparing yourself to advertisements may make you feel shortchanged , miserable and lead you to back off on healthy habits. Be aware of marketing techniques that demand you live a standard that is unattainable, costly and leads to belly busting excesses.
3 Holiday Eating & Lifestyle Do’s
1) Plan perfectly by taking proactive measures to decide what you will eat, prepare or purchase.If you anticipate properly you can constructively orient your schedule to guard against last minute impulse foods and help to control hunger and appetite.
Stay in control instead of chasing your lifestyle and running into obstacles where you are vulnerable and give in to less careful food choices.
2) Pick and choose carefully where you will commit your time and energy.Be selective in your attendance at holiday parties especially if you do not care for the event or if it revolves around heavy eating or drinking or the need for extreme willpower.
Schedule “me time” to reflect on your year. Set the the course for healthy habits like planning to resolve lifestyle issues that have caused stress, getting into consistent physical activity or enjoying time with your spouse, children and family. Look for downtime to take it easy.
Play up taste and couple it to non-food related “play-time” to satisfy your desire for a holiday “must have” and couple it to a non food related calorie burning burning activity that is also enjoyable.Seasonal activities can be the very essence of ramping up your quality of life.
You may take a walking tour of holiday lights in your area, schedule a massage, take a mediation or yoga class, visit a park for an outdoor hike, plan a healthy picnic complete with a fire pit, go to a museum, play games…the list is endless.