Yikes! November is upon us and with that comes all the festivities of the upcoming holiday season. You might be asking yourself how am I going to keep the progress I have made in my health and wellness? Or how can I just break even on the scale come January 1?
The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s seems to be the spot where most of us struggle to be consistent with exercise and eating better. However, you don’t need to hit the “pause” button so you can “enjoy the holidays”. You don’t need to deprive yourself of Aunt Sally’s world-famous pumpkin pie that she only makes at Thanksgiving. You only need to learn a few basic lifestyle strategies so that you can continue to work on consistency and building that solid foundation for sustainable change.
Welcome to Party Central!
It all starts on Thanksgiving Day. A whole day dedicated to cooking, baking and eating that leaves you feeling like your pants are a size too small and all you need now is a long winter’s nap. Next, we have office parties, family parties and friend parties. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good party. Parties are fun! Parties are festive! Parties are filled with temptations and the holidays are filled with them!
No wonder you want to put the brakes on your routine and just give in to the “I can’t win mentality”. Don’t do that! Instead implement one or all of the following tips at your next party.
#1. The Table of Plenty
What would a party be without one of these? Boring… right? Usually, the host has a central gathering place for food where everyone hovers about eating mindlessly while socializing and having fun. Suddenly, you glance down at a bowl of chips and realize you alone have eaten half of them. Oops! Then you think- oh well there goes my “diet” and I will get back on track tomorrow. The problem is there are a lot of parties and you might be starting over a lot during the holidays which leaves you stuck in that pattern. Create a bright line for yourself. A bright line is a clearly defined rule for yourself at parties. For example, everything I eat will fit on one plate and I will only eat at the table. This will allow you to have what you want yet forces a sense of portion control. It also helps to limit distractions so you can focus on the act of eating so you are mindful of the amount you have eaten.
#2. Put only 2 items on your plate on any given trip to the table
Beware! Variety drives appetite. The more food decisions you have to make the weaker your willpower becomes. Choose two items that you want the most. Here is where you might reserve a spot for those items that only come around at Christmas like Nancy’s festive cheeseball or Grandma’s infamous Christmas cookies. Be mindful of your portion, savor it by eating slowly and move on. Here’s where you could use another bright line to only make 2 trips to the table and that’s it.
#3. Arrive late and leave early
By arriving to parties late, the food is usually picked over and not as appealing to the eye. Maybe even the really delicious treats might be finished, and you will have more willpower for what is left. Leaving early serves the purpose of limiting your exposure time to the tempting food /drinks and leaving before you are tired or the alcohol kicks in lowering your ability to make the best choice for you.
#4. Maintain your focus and remember why you are really there
Is it for the food or the conversations? I hope you chose the conversations. Set the food down and give the people your full attention. They more you focus on people and distractions together, the more you will eat.
#5. Prep for the Party
No, I don’t mean spending time picking out your best holiday outfit and getting all fancied up. I mean prep your body for the upcoming event. Focus on protein and vegetables at all your meals on party day and get in an exercise session. Protein and fiber are filling and adding in the exercise helps to keep your blood sugar in balance so cravings are controlled. Doing a little prep work in advance will leave your mind and body party ready!
Parties are just one upcoming holiday hurdle to overcome. Try using one of these tips to help you during the holiday season. In our Holiday Survival Workshop, we will be sharing tips and tricks that you can start implementing now to float through the upcoming holiday season with confidence. If you’re reday to learn more strategies that you can use to keep moving forward, join us on November 23rd at 10 am for our Holiday Survival Workshop. See you there because You’ve Got This!
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