By Collin McShirley –
I love the holiday season. It’s fun getting caught up in buying the tree, shopping for holiday parties, buying presents, and spending time with friends and family. With all of the things you need to manage during the holidays wouldn’t it be nice if your weight wasn’t one of them? Around the holidays, sticking to our exercise program or eating healthy sometimes gets pushed to the bottom of our holiday list. I used to get distracted by sampling all the treats and browsing the perfect gifts instead of going on a hike or prepping my healthy meals for the week. I have learned from experience that with a little bit of planning, you can have a holly, jolly, healthy holiday by applying simple healthy behaviors that will make you feel confident and vibrant all throughout the holidays to the new year.
1. Don’t stop moving!
I know it might be hard to fit in that hour at the gym at the end of the day, but during the holiday season it is very important to keep moving. I noticed that with my busy holiday schedule, I was still able to move at a brisk pace by shopping, decorating, and even all of the cooking. Last year I parked my car further than the mall and got in a 20-minute walk, Then carrying the bags back actually felt like a mini work out. If you can muster the time, try and set a weekly walk with friends. My friend Natasha Freutel, owner of FitMamasb.com, gets me in gear with our weekly walk. It’s nice to share a moment with a friend. It’s good for the soul and you can even share holiday recipes!
2. Try to limit yourself to one treat per day
Each week in December it seems that there is always a celebration to attend or a dinner with friends or family that includes delicious tempting foods. I make sure to only have one treat per day (don’t go for the cookies, cheeses, and eggnog… try just one). When I do indulge, I savor the moment and eat mindfully. I am aware of the smells, tastes, and feelings that this delicious treat is invoking in me. It’s the holidays…don’t restrict, instead allow yourself this one treat and you won’t feel like you’re missing out on all the fun.
3. Don’t be tardy for the party…or go hungry either
One of the biggest mistakes I used to make during the holidays was to go to parties hungry. This made it very hard to keep my eating in check when I got to the event. All I could think about was how hungry I was and didn’t enjoy my time with friends and family until I had something to eat. If I would have had a small healthy snack before the party, it would have made it a lot easier to not over-eat and I could have enjoyed the company instead of focusing so much on food.
4. Just one eggnog please
One of the easiest ways that people put on extra weight during the holidays is by drinking them. I know parties are a fun time to drink the mulled cider and have a few eggnogs. Please be mindful of the fact that these sweet beverages are not a good source of energy to make you feel full and satisfied, rather they help to pack on the extra pounds quickly. Instead, try drinking mindfully. Have a glass of wine and drink it slowly. Observe the beautiful color, explore the different flavors and try to guess what fruits and other ingredients are in the wine. Think of the process from start to finish and all the work it took to bring this wine into your hands. I love imagining the vineyards of the beautiful San Ynez Valley and how this glass of wine in my hand started from a tiny seed. It puts a lot into perspective and helps you enjoy your beverage slowly and mindfully.
I hope these tips help you stay on track with your wellness goals this holiday season. Take time to enjoy your family, friends, and food in this beautiful city we live in. I hope you have a joyful, mindful, and peaceful holiday season!
Collin Christine helps men and women lose weight by learning to eat mindfully and authentically. If you’re interested in signing up for her Online Holiday Workshop “How to prevent Holiday Weight Gain with Authentic Eating ” Please email [email protected] or visit www.collinmcshirley.com to reserve a space. The workshop costs 40$ per person. Limited Space!