It is easy to throw caution to the wind and sing, “let it go, let it go” when it comes to holiday eating restrictions. This time of year wreaks havoc with eating plans, stress levels, schedules, exercise programs, and more. But with a little resolve and forethought, you can keep it together and minimize the damage you are faced with when you wake up in 2015.
Here are 6 easy tips to help you avoid “letting it go” during the holiday season.
- Drink water.
Try to remember to drink water throughout the day. Sometimes it is harder in the winter because we like to cuddle with warm pumpkin spice lattes or peppermint mocha coffee. Sometimes that hungry feeling we get is really our bodies crying out for hydration. Drink a glass when you wake up and before each meal. That is already 4 glasses. Take one in the car with you. If you need a warm cuddly cup, squeeze lemon into hot water.
- Sneak in exercise.
Don’t let your mind delude you into thinking that if you don’t have an hour to exercise it isn’t worth it. Get up and walk. If you are unable to keep your normal fitness routine, try walking a little more during the day. Walk around your office, take a few extra laps if you are in a store, or just throw on your winter garb and head outside for a lunchtime walk. Watching TV? Hold a plank, do pushup, jumping jacks, or running in place during the commercials.
- Make smart choices.
Be really choosy when you eat at a holiday party. Try to eat something at home that has protein to fill you up before you go and drink a large glass of water. At the party, try to stay away from anything wrapped in pastry. Eat shrimp with cocktail sauce, all of the veggies you can find, and meat from the carving station. Try to spend your time connecting with people, not filling up on fatty calories that will make you mad the next day. And don’t stand near the buffet when you are socializing.
- Write it down.
Write down everything you are eating. Everything. The act of recording it may help to cut down on the bad choices (and the handful of M&Ms you think won’t matter).
- Don’t deny yourself.
Don’t tell yourself you can’t have something. Just make sure what you do eat is worth it to you. Skip the store bought cookies and cake for the homemade dessert or decadent dish that you really want to eat. Eat it mindfully and savor every bite. Then move on. Depriving yourself can lead to binging on food you probably don’t even want.
- Get minty fresh breath.
When you are ready to be done eating, pop a sugar free mint or mint flavored gum in your mouth or brush your teeth with a single use toothbrush. The fresh minty flavor can help curb the desire to eat more. It can’t hurt, right?
I hope these strategies help you keep the rest of December under control. No good can come from “letting it go.”