The holidays have snuck up on us, and if you’re not yet feeling stressed about the impacts of the holidays on your nutrition routine, I’m sure you will soon.
With the holidays come a myriad of temptations and things that we might not normally have in our diet: sugar, refined carbohydrates, increased social drinking, and much more.
Here’s some of my favorite tips for stacking on track through the holidays, while still enjoying the season to start the new year on the right foot – free of guilt and feeling refreshed.
When it comes to your nutrition, consistency matters. This doesn’t change when we think about staying on track throughout the holidays, but we all know that our normal routine can go out the window when faced with altered schedules, traveling, and eating with our families who don’t always eat the way we do.
Try finding one thing to stay consistent with regardless of what happens this season. Some great ways to stay consistent:
- Have your regular breakfast meal to start off the day on a routine foot
- Drink your coffee as normal – swapping milk for almond milk, adding MCT oil, skipping the sugar, or whatever you normally do
- Focus on water intake throughout the day
- Get some morning movement – travel WOD, yoga, mobility, etc.
- Get protein at every meal. Cookies alone aren’t a meal, but you can add protein to help it be more well-rounded
- Look for vegetables at your meals!
- If you don’t tolerate gluten, dairy or any other food stay, consciously weigh the options
If you have a meal that doesn’t sit well with you or makes you feel crummy, don’t sweat it. A single meal doesn’t ruin an entire day or even an entire week. After one of those meals, start again right away. Pick up where you left off by making good choices at your next opportunity.
It’s easy to get sucked into the downward spiral of eating one meal “off track” and then continue having meals not serving your goals because you had one “bad” meal. When we do this, we spiral negatively towards zero. We start the new year feeling like junk and in need of a detof. If we instead jump right back to our focus of eating well, or at least as normal, we’ll enter the new year right where we need to be, and may even have a leg up with surviving the holidays without needing a re-do, feeling guilty about our decisions, and gain some clarity on areas we need to work on for 2020.
With that in mind, eat the cookie. Have the piece of pie. Enjoy your holiday with friends and family making memories. When we avoid a food or place restrictions on ourselves, we often crave it even more. If you’re the person who when told not to do something, it’s the only thing you can think about – I’m looking at you.
Have a little bit and slow down. The best advice I have is to really enjoy it. Chew every bite and soak in the flavor. Chances are you’ll feel much better and not crave it afterwards. When we set restrictions, we set lines to cross. Give yourself permission to enjoy your food while being mindful of how much you are having.
You can stay on track, have some balance, and still enjoy the season!
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