The holidays can bring so much joy, but the time from Thanksgiving through the New Year can also bring a lot of stress and extra pounds. Watching what you eat can seem irritating, especially during the holidays: it is so tempting to grab that extra piece of pumpkin pie, drink all the wine and eggnog your body will allow. Between family gatherings and work events, the temptations are endless.
I want you to be able to indulge in your favorite holiday treats and meals, while staying healthy, feeling and looking your best. Here are my hacks for surviving the holidays without too much added stress or weight:
1. Stay Hydrated. Drinking water can help you feel full. I recommend getting 8 glasses per day. Drinking water when you first wake up in the morning and 20 minutes before each meal can help to keep you fuller and promote weight loss.
2. Start Early. Wake up, workout and get it out of the way first thing in the morning. Often if you wait until later, it doesn’t happen. Things come up, you’re too tired, etc. Try going for a walk with a friend or family member before everyone gets busy with their day. Enjoy quality time, get away from the food, and burn some calories. Exercising in the morning helps ensure better choices throughout the day.
3. Eat and Chew Slowly. This improves digestion and give our bodies time to register fullness. Slow down and enjoy your food.
4. Plan. I always tell my clients, along with my friends and family, to plan ahead. Have a strong mindset before facing holiday parties and saying yes to every temptation. Try to make sure there will be healthy options for you. So, offer to bring some crudite and hummus or a fruit platter to parties. Bake some healthy brownies to bring to work. Not only will this help you have healthy options, but you will be surprised how many other people will be happy to something nutritious to reach for instead of the usual sugary junk.
5. Eat Before To Avoid the Binge. This is a trick I practice year-round. I like to eat small meals before attending a dinner party so I don’t pig out or binge on unhealthy foods because I am so starving.
6. Don’t Overindulge. Have everything in moderation. Eat the pie, but only if it tastes really good, and have just one small piece. Have a glass of wine, but not the bottle.
7. Say No to Leftovers. You thoroughly enjoyed that piece of chocolate cake, but it doesn’t mean you should enjoy it all over again for breakfast the next day. Healthy choices people!
8. Weigh In. I don’t promote living by the scale, but it’s okay to do a friendly check-in on a weekly basis. You will be less likely to keep chugging that eggnog and soda if you see the pounds adding on.
9. Willpower. This goes hand in hand with planning. This is where you stay strong and think of that New Year’s dress or your upcoming trip to a warm beach destination. Write notes to yourself, call or message a friend for support. Post an inspiring photo on your phone or your fridge. Point is, do whatever it takes.
10. Smile. The most important tip is to be happy, healthy and stay positive. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you gain any holiday weight, know that you aren’t alone. Just remember to get back on track.
Join Nikki Sharp this January for a 5 Day Wellness Retreat in the Cayman Islands.
Want more of Nikki’s great advice? Check out her book The 5-Day Real Food Detox!
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