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TIPS FOR A HEALTHFUL HOLIDAY

Posted: Nov 27 2014

I’ve chatted about this in a previous post, but how many of us enter into contracts with ourselves-  mini resolutions, goals, intentions- and actually come out on the other side with a success? Sometimes they’re just too big, or unspecific, unrealistic. Sometimes we never really had it in us to give them a go in the first place, we weren’t ready. How many of us succeed and how do we personally quantify a win? With holiday season a week away it goes without saying that a sudden spike in holiday cheer may be accompanied by a corresponding surge in caloric intake (cue beloved pumpkin pie).

This season I challenge us to step away from restriction and food rules and instead live in the moment- embrace the communal aspect of each meal, the love, the intention, live consciously, respect ourselves and our bodies, and eat what makes us thrive and feel nourished. It is too easy to get overwhelmed, to overeat, and to wake up the next morning with panic or regret. This season let’s celebrate each victory- each moment spent with family, each tradition reawakened, each warming, cozy, familiar smell- and live freely. With holiday season a week away, here are a few helpful words to live by.

There are no rules // rather than arming yourself with a hard set of dos and don’ts, you will have more success, with your diet, mood, energy, if you switch your focus to enjoying the holiday and embracing the spirit of the season.

Live in the moment // with so much emphasis placed on the holiday meal, this season I challenge you to take the focus off the food and instead channel that energy towards family, tradition, community, and reflection. It is too easy to get caught up in counting calories, anxiety, and restrictive thoughts-instead of making the meal the spotlight, turn that light inward and towards the people at your table to truly enjoy their company and the tradition of the evening. In the days leading up to and following ‘the big meal’, incorporate lighter, less calorie dense meals into your diet so that indulgence doesn’t have as lasting an impact- remember, each moment is a new moment, each day is a new day.

Moderation, moderation // skip the store-bought cookies and the cheese-plate and instead save room for homemade meals or treats that hold special memories. The key is to leave feeling satisfied and like you were able to partake in the festivities in a meaningful and healthful way. If you attempt to deprive yourself, willpower will eventually snap and you’ll end up overeating. On a similar note, filling a plate with a little bit of everything on the table can easily spiral into more food than you bargained for. Instead, snack on something light before ‘the big meal’, like a small green salad or fresh pear, to satiate cravings before you really start digging in.

Never stop moving // regardless of if you’re fierce enough to brave the cold for an outdoor jog, land a yoga class, or transform your living room into an at-home aerobics studio, staying physically active is a must. A recent study found adults, on average, gained more than one pound of body weight during the winter holidays and that that weight stuck throughout the following year (yikes!). The good news- people who reported the most physical activity throughout the holiday season showed the least weight gain, or managed to maintain or lose weight. Weight aside, we could all use the extra endorphins.

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