Hello friends! Happy Monday and Happy December!
Two of my favourite things rolled into one: the start of a new week, AND the start of a new month. As is life isn’t already hectic, things are about to get even more crazy around here.
Between Christmas shopping, preparing for my upcoming trip to Mexico, and finalizing all the little projects I started this year, I’ve got a lot on my plate.
The holidays are a stressful time for many for a variety of reasons. Mounds of food can put a dent in our weight loss progress, there’s pressure to attend any and all holiday functions that are happening in our circles, and the madness of Christmas shopping combined with a steadily increasing credit card bill can make anybody ready to jump ship.
But not you! Not this year! This year you aren’t going to “survive” the holidays….you’re going to thrive during the holidays.
I can’t remove all these stressors for you, but I CAN provide some simple tips for enjoying holiday treats in moderation, maintaining your exercise program during even the busiest of times, and staying zen while shopping.
All of these things will leave you feeling good. And when you feel good, you’re more likely to make smart decisions that will make you feel even better.
So today’s topic of discussion is holiday parties.
Cocktails, deep-fried bite-sized foods, cookie swaps, chocolate and more – these foods and drinks can pack a TON of calories, and when you’re mixing and mingling it can be easy to go overboard without even noticing.
But you CAN still enjoy these treats without gaining a ton of weight this holiday season. While you may want to put a hold on your goal of dropping a few pounds if you plan on indulging a bit, you can certainly maintain your weight while eating a cookie or two (or three) this holiday season by following these simple steps.
1. Don’t go to a party hungry.
By starving yourself during the day, you’re more likely to go wild once you’ve got a buffet full of chips, dip, appies, & cocktails at your disposal. Eat small meals that contain protein & fibre (preferably in vegetable-form) throughout the day to keep yourself feeling satiated and your metabolism revving.
2. Create some lightened-up versions of holiday classics to share with friends.
If you’re headed to a potluck this is the perfect opportunity to show everyone that healthy food CAN taste good! Instead of baking traditional cookies that are laden with sugar, see if you can get creative with natural sweeteners such as bananas. Replace butter with coconut oil & you’ve got yourself a brain-boosting treat!
3. Food or booze – pick one or the other.
Now I’m not saying if you choose to have a few cocktails to completely forgo food. That will just end up a disaster. But if you’ve got your heart set on a big feast that night, either skip the alcohol completely or stick to clear drinks like vodka and soda.
Similarly, if your girls have the party punch and bottles of champagne ready to go, eat nutritious meals throughout the day and avoid the finger food that’s usually on display at parties (unless it’s veggies!). But beware – as the alcohol lowers your inhibitions your might find it increasingly difficult to avoid those chips and creamy dips.
4. Get sweaty!
If you know you’ve got a night of indulgence coming up, do some sort of physical activity. You don’t have to hit the gym for an hour or run 10km (although if you want to I’m not going to stop you 😉 ) – just 10-15 minutes of exercise will boost your metabolism and get those feel-good emotions flowing.
5. Don’t be afraid to say no.
I’m not sure when saying “no” became taboo, but these days it seems like we are expected to accept every invitation that’s sent our way, eat everything that’s put in front of us, AND maintain our sanity and our figure.
It’s time we learn to say “no” loud and proud. If you REALLY don’t want to go to that party your best friend’s boyfriend’s cousin’s girlfriend invited you to, then politely decline the invitation sans guilt. If your Aunt Sally insists you eat her scary-looking pudding, let her know you’re too full to enjoy it so you’d like to take some home. Then pawn it off on someone else 😉
6. ENJOY YOURSELF.
The holidays are a special time of year – many of the foods we choose to indulge in we don’t get during the other 11 months. Savour those bites of grandma’s baking, treat yourself to those chocolate oranges, and eat a few candy canes. Skip the things you can eat year-round like chips & party mix, & be satisfied with the things you do choose to eat.
How do you navigate holiday parties? Do you tend to feel obligated to attend everything and eat everything? Or have you developed a few tactics that allow you to enjoy yourself whilst remaining on track with your goals? Share your struggles and successes below!