Holidays are one of the best times of the year – a time to reunite with friends and family for the sole purpose of celebration! The parties, the gift giving, the decorations, the lights, and the delicious food…what’s not to love, right?
Right…and wrong. The holidays are wonderful and are so much fun, but a month filled with a jam packed schedule, social events galore, excess family time, and too much food and drink can leave one feeling exhausted. Overwhelmed. Stressed. Tired.
With all those emotions happening at once, and lots of delicious food and drink nearby, it’s easy to overindulge without even realizing it. Maybe you’ve eaten five cookies that weren’t even that good, just because there were there. Or you drank 6 glasses of champagne because someone just kept refilling it. Or you ate 3 portions of Aunt Edna’s Christmas pudding because she wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Overindulging in food & drinks over the holiday season makes us feel gross in our bodies, which makes us not as excited to continue on with the holiday traditions. Not to mention all that sugar and alcohol highly affects our mood, and it’s not as easy to handle the small talk at your work party, or the nosey family members questions when you are tired and moody.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, I want to share with you some simple ways to reduce the overindulgence this holiday season, leaving you feeling light, happy, and confident the whole month through.
Pay attention to what you are eating and drinking.
This seems like such a normal thing to do, but it often goes to the wayside during the holiday season. There are cookies in the house or the office, and you just pass by and put one in your mouth without really noticing or enjoying it. So the simplest way to avoid this is when you are about to grab something to eat, notice what you are about to eat, preferably sit down to eat it, and turn off distractions. If you are at a cocktail party, be sure to take a plate and fill it with the food that you want, instead of just picking at the food table all night long.
When it comes to drinking, choose what you want to drink instead of just drinking what is handed to you. Pour your own glass instead of letting others refill for you. Making an effort to pay attention will not only increase your satisfaction, but it will also most likely reduce your intake.
Decide what you really want.
There are certain home baked goods you can’t pass up, but there are so many other store bought desserts floating around during the holidays that you definitely wouldn’t choose on our own. Be sure to take time to think about what it is you actually want to eat or drink, and have that instead. Check in with yourself when you are about to eat something, and ask yourself, “Do I actually want this, or am I eating it because it’s here?” This simple question will help you save room for the really good holiday treats that you won’t want to miss.
Compensate with real food.
Let’s face it – there will be a lot of events this month that you don’t get to decide what you are eating. So take control of the meals where you do get to decide! When you have a party later that evening, make sure to have a lunch loaded with vegetables and protein that will make you feel good going into the party. Or vice versa: if you had a big holiday lunch, don’t throw in the towel on your day, just take it one meal at a time and have a light dinner. I suggest that when you do have time this month, make a big pot of vegetable soup and freeze it in single servings so you can have it on hand for the nights when you are too tired to bother with cooking, but still want a healthy meal.
Just say no.
This goes for events and for food and drink. If attending too many events overwhelms you, just go to the events that you are truly excited about and say no to the others. Sometimes there are obligations, but many times you can find an easy excuse to get out of an event. Attending an event that you are not excited about may lead you to overeat and drink out of boredom or discomfort, so you might as well avoid it all together.
We also have pushy loved ones that think feeding you excess food is the best way to show their love. When this happens, give your most sincere compliments to the chef and say how much you loved everything, but you are just simply too stuffed to have another bite. Or, if it’s someone you are comfortable with, ask them beforehand to not offer you multiple servings and/or dessert, and tell them that is the best way they can support you at the moment. They are usually just trying to show they care with food, so if you ask them to show their love through respecting your wishes, they will most likely be open to it.
Take time for yourself.
This month is often all about giving, but you have to remember to be giving to yourself. Be sure to take time to take care of yourself first, so you can be the best version of you to those around you. Proper workouts might be hard to fit in this month, but try to walk a bit extra, or squeeze in a ten minute home workout when you can. When you are overly tired, take a bath and go to bed early. Book yourself a massage in the middle of the month when you know you will need a break. Block out a chunk of time in your calendar, telling others you have prior plans, even though your plan is to have NO plan. Buy yourself a nice present when you are out shopping for others, just because. Watch your favorite holiday movie while cuddled in bed. Figure out what will recharge you, and make time for it.
If you practice these five simple tricks, we think you will feel great all month long, leading you into January without a need to jump on the diet bandwagon.
Zuri Girl Tip… Want some help practicing these tips so you can feel good all holiday season long? Join Zuri Girl, Caitlin, for daily tips and inspiration on how to enjoy the holidays without overindulging through her free 12 Days of Healthy Christmas program. There will be daily prizes too.
Article contributed by: Zuri Girl Caitlin, a San Francisco native and Swiss chocolate addict. You will most likely find her in the kitchen, the yoga studio, working on her latest craft project, or writing all about it on her blog, teaspoon living.print