Did you know the average American gains anywhere between five and ten pounds during the holiday season? This generally happens when people enter the holidays with the mindset that they will simply “get back on track after the New Year” and in the meantime, kick their entire journey to the curb. However, research shows that it can take up to FIVE months to lose the weight gained during the holidays.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by these statistics, don’t worry! Luckily, there is a wonderful and effective way to get through the holidays! Instead of entirely ditching your healthy habits over the holidays, try out these three things you can do this holiday season to enjoy yourself while continuing to work on your health and wellness:
Set Realistic Goals
As the holidays approach, sometimes we get caught up thinking we need to have an all-or-nothing approach to maintain our progress. In fact, the holidays are not a realistic time to completely restrict yourself or start an extensive workout routine. Be mindful of the goals you are setting for yourself as they may backfire on you. If you are setting a goal to completely avoid indulging foods or begin a new intense workout routine, perhaps focusing on maintaining the healthy habits you learned so far may be the best option. Does this mean you can sneak one of Santa’s cookies? Yes, just be sure to make sure you’re not skipping your snacks and reaching your water goal.
Allow Yourself to Enjoy the Holidays
If you feel like every year you are stressing out or overwhelmed about what you are eating, you may want to shift your focus this season! Focusing on other things including your friends, family, and fun holiday traditions is a wonderful way to enjoy the holidays. Maybe your family gets together and plays a card game or competes at a round of pool. Placing your focus on these activities may take away the constant worry or concern about your meals. In fact, during the few holiday meals, allow yourself to enjoy your favorite dish or dessert without feeling like you have to completely restrict yourself. Should you choose to indulge, there are a few things you can do to create a balanced plate that includes a few of your favorite holiday dishes. You may want to focus on filling half your plate with vegetables first, a quarter of your plate or more with protein, and be sure you have plenty of water throughout the day. Begin by taking a small amount of your favorite indulgent foods and take a minute to check in with yourself before getting up for seconds.
Give Yourself a Pep Talk!
If you feel like you have overindulged during or after a holiday meal, remember the best way to move on is to just get right back on track. Don’t beat yourself up if a holiday does not go exactly as you planned. You may want to think about what part did not go as planned and use that for feedback for the next holiday or social gathering. The best thing you can do for yourself after feeling like you overindulged is to give yourself some positive self-talk and write down a few ways you can get right back on track. You may be surprised at how quickly you can bounce back when you focus on the positive.
By continuing your healthy habits through the holiday season with the focus on simply maintaining them and practicing them every day, you are able to keep your goals a priority while still enjoying your family, friends, and favorite dishes.