Are Holiday Stress, Fatigue and Weight Gain Inevitable?
From “Trick-or-Treat” to “Happy New Year!” the last two months of the year are packed with temptations to sleep and eat poorly, skip our workouts and stress ourselves with too many commitments.
If you typically arrive at January feeling healthier and more rested than you were when you set your clock back in October, then read no further. But if you are already starting to crave January with its promise of quiet evenings, healthier foods and a good night’s rest, then it’s time to make a plan for your holiday party self.
Customize your plan to support healthier, happier choices instead of your annual festive foibles and follies. I like a plan with five strategies. Five strategies are enough to give me lots of support while remaining manageable.
Here are a few great strategies to kick your brain into planning mode:
If you are very susceptible to the power of suggestion, keep healthier snack options around the house and office to eat when someone shows up with holiday goodies.
Make appointments with yourself to go to bed, exercise, wake up, etc. Commit in writing to take care of yourself, so you can enjoy the holidays.
Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch. For me that means steel-cut oats, green smoothies, salads and veggies. If I start off my day nutritiously, other good choices follow.
Remember your mother’s advice: Don’t eat between meals. Plan your meals and snacks and then no more nibbling. It spoils your appetite for healthy foods and adds hundreds of unnecessary calories.
Choose one indulgence at a party and eat just one serving of it. (If the “Betcha can’t eat just one” jingle was written with you in mind, this is not a good strategy!)
Remember that it is a holi-DAY, not a holi-WEEK or holi-MONTH. Carry on with your healthy lifestyle activities on non-holidays. When Christmas and New Year’s roll around, plan some healthy choices into your celebrations along with some of the traditional indulgences.
Allow yourself to enjoy your holiday festivities. Don’t beat yourself up. Guilt won’t get you back on track or change your choices. Re-boot your healthy lifestyle the next day with an invigorating work-out and a protein smoothie.
Let your past holiday trouble spots help you determine what your 5 strategies will be. Wake up each day and re-commit to your plan. It’s the foundation on which you build the rest of your day – in fact your whole holiday season.
Happy Planning! Healthy Holidays!