Chronic dieter? Obsessed with your weight? Do the holidays stress you out? Well fear no more because you only need to remember one thing to stay sane through the holidays:
It’s only a week of festivities!
Well, unless you are eating processed junk 20x a day… but if you are not and you’re already relatively fit and healthy, you shouldn’t let the holidays be a time of stress. Enjoy yourself and get back into the routine in the New Year. It’s not always about how many calories you eat in a day but overtime. If you limit your food intake the days prior to a party and indulge on the day of then immediately jump back to your routine (a.k.a. after New Years), you are not going to derail your diet.
Personally, I always take a week off from the gym during the holidays and eat everything and anything I want… this actually gets me extra motivated to get back into the routine and hit the gym even harder in the new year. I figure, after being committed to a year of fitness and diet (well, not all but a lot of the time for the diet), the holidays is a great way to give my body a vacation and just in the nick of time, with all the festivities and endless amount of food floating around.
I’m definitely one of those people who can’t follow most of the advice floating around the internet such as eating a light snack before a party, start with a big salad and staying away from the buffet table. NO WAY. I love food and you can usually find me hovering around the buffet table with a giant plate in hand.
Here are some quick tips on how I stay sane through the holidays:
- Drink LOTS of water. A lot of people are mainly retaining sodium over the holidays, that’s why they feel “fat” and “gross.” Sodium causes water retention, which is the reason you look and feel bloated. The solution is to drink more water to flush all that salt out of your system, AND drinking more water will help you feel more full.
- Be realistic. The holiday is NOT a time for dieting. Instead, maintain and if you can afford it, I encourage you to indulge. It is a time to celebrate after all.
- Eat slowly, moderately and only what you love. Simple as that.
- When feasting, mainly stick to the protein and healthy fats (including animal fats) but try to limit the grains. Fats and proteins will keep you satiated much longer than carbs.
- If you must, fast during the day— if you know you are going to have a gigantic dinner in the evening and you don’t want to hold yourself back. Occasional fasting is fine as long as you meet your daily calorific needs and besides, meal frequency does not matter. It’s all about the quality and quality of what you eat. Be cautious though because even though this works for me, others may tend to overeat if they starve themselves all day. Get to know your body!
- If you feel extra-guilty, do quick full-body HIIT workouts. 20 minutes a day is all you need. Seriously.
- Remember stress affects your body negatively. Too much stress releases cortisol in your body and when it builds up, it will wreak havoc on your mind and body. Don’t stress out and enjoy the holidays!