Holiday season brings sweater weather, pumpkin spice, snowy days, warm fires, and lots and LOTS of deliciously fattening foods for about 2 months straight! Such a scrumptious time of year.
Staying healthy during the holiday season may seem nearly impossible. Especially with your dear great auntie Trish making her irresistible carrot cake with the creamiest cream cheese frosting… how could one resist! Let’s be real… No one wants to disappoint their lovely great auntie and turn down her wonderful desert she spent all morning baking.
This was always a big question in my mind when I first started my healthy lifestyle. “How the hell do I stay healthy during the holiday season?!” Well it’s not as hard as you think! I’m going to share all my key tips to avoiding the notorious 10 pound weight gain during the holidays, while still eating all the yummy food!
Giving yourself options
Healthy lifestyles are becoming more and more popular now-a-days, which makes life SO much easier. I noticed quite a few more healthy options at my family thanksgiving. Everything from gluten free potatoes and stuffing, to Paleo cookies and avocado chocolate pie.
If you have some healthy options at your family/ friend thanksgiving, then go for those and skip the normal unhealthy stuff. In my opinion, these food options taste just about the same, or even better! Get the same mouthwatering satisfaction with less guilt!
On the other hand, if your surrounded by all the cookie cutter fattening holiday staples, there is still hope! If you know you won’t have any healthy options, then bring something of your own! Make some gluten free stuffing, Paleo pie, Keto mashed potatoes, etc… This way you 100% have a healthy option or two. Plus you can share your healthy choices with your family/ friends and give them a little info on how changing a few ingredients can be JUST as delicious, but have way more nutrients and be less harmful for the body!
Don’t stuff yourself like the thanksgiving turkey
One of the biggest mistakes EVERYONE makes at holiday dinners, stuffing themselves like it’s the last meal they will ever eat. I’m just as guilty as anyone else on this topic. Surrounded by all these amazingly delectable dishes, compelled to have a little of everything being offered. It’s always a trap!
Thanksgiving happens every year and we need to remember that! No need to stuff ourselves until our pants buttons pop. This takes self-control. Pick your absolute favorites on the table and take a little scoop of each. Make a serious effort to create a normal portioned plate for yourself instead of the typical Mount Everest of potatoes and turkey nearly overflowing off your plate.
Get yourself to the happy full point so you’re able to actually enjoy the yummy pies and cookies later, rather than painfully cramming it in your stomach. Then if quantity of food allows, ask to take home some leftovers! This is always a great way to fully enjoy all the amazing holiday foods. Break it up and have a nice thanksgiving sandwich the next day or two for lunch Vs. stuffing yourself until you are in a food coma with your pants unbuttoned not able to move from the couch.
It’s a lot more rewarding and satisfying to have some self-control!
The golden trick – Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is becoming more and more popular every day. Most have heard of it and possibly read about it. If you haven’t, here is a short definition. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. Pretty straight forward.
I believe intermittent fasting is a great thing to add into your life once a week or so. Humans have been fasting for thousands of years. I don’t believe we need to be constantly eating like how society has taught us. There are many health benefits to adding intermittent fasting into your life. As for the holidays, intermittent fasting can come in handy for sure!
What I find the most beneficial is fasting the day after the holiday meal. This doesn’t mean you need to fast for the whole day after. Just some of the day if that’s all you can handle. Some people like to do a full 24-hour fast after indulging in a big day full of holiday treats. As for me, I like to go by the 12:12 method. Eat for 12 hours of the day, then fast for 12 hours. This one is pretty easy to do for beginners.
Example: If I have my last piece of pie by 9 at night on thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc… then I won’t eat until 9am or later the next morning. This gives the body a nice break to digest and regulate before you eat again. There is also the 16:8 method. Eat for 8 hours in the day, like from noon to 8pm. Then the day after don’t eat until noon again. This can help greatly with the holiday bloat belly! This is a special trick I use for every holiday party.
Save up your cheat days for the holidays
With all the holidays so close together, I try to limit my cheat days. Everyone needs to cheat once in a while and have some chocolate or bake some cookies. There is nothing wrong with that! Baking is one of my favorite things to do! But limitations are key for holiday season.
If I know ill be going to a holiday party one weekend, for that whole week I won’t cheat at all. Having self-control and sticking to your healthy lifestyle will pay off greatly when it comes time to party. The options for yummy food, drinks, and treats are endless this time of year! I’ll plan around these parties and throw in an extra workout that week so I can just let loose without worry.
The key for me is to stay busy, which isn’t hard around holiday season. I’ll keep on making my healthy meals and stick to my workout schedules. Then the week of a party, ill try to stay a little extra strict and possibly throw in an extra workout to compensate for all the indulging ill be doing when party time comes. Another key factor is to remember there are MANY parties during this season. Don’t go overboard all at one place. Let yourself let loose to a point, and then save some indulging for the next party to come!
Treat oneself without guilt
As I’ve explained, it is definitely possible to stay healthy during the holiday season. All you need is a little determination and self-control. It’s very important to treat yourself once in a while and eat that pie or cake!
These are my absolute best tips to keep on track during the delicious holidays. It doesn’t take much sacrifice either! It’s much easier than it seems to be at first.
If you combine all these great tricks, you will be GOLDEN! I guarantee you will be able to skip gaining those holiday pounds with just a little self-control and effort!
Wishing everyone a scrumptiously healthy holiday season! If you have any input on your favorite holiday tricks, leave a comment below!
Peace and Love
~ Jade Kaye