It starts with Halloween. A Hershey’s Kiss here, a Milky Way there, and before you know it you’re falling headlong into a sugar-crazed orgy that lasts through Thanksgiving and Christmas. White-knuckle restraint is no fun, but neither are tight clothes and feelings of remorse. The question is: How can you get through the holidays without missing out on the fun or the yummy goodness?
Here are my 7 hottest tips to get you through the holiday season without gaining a pound or missing out on the best life has to offer.
- Skip the Halloween candy. You will save yourself a lot of grief by simply saying NO to this pitfall. If you’re constantly trying to decide if, when, and how much, it will be a struggle. Once your blood sugar takes that roller coaster ride it will be next to impossible to get off. So make your life a whole lot easier by staying firm on this one. Tip: When feeling tempted ask yourself “Does this serve my highest good?”
- Drink LOTS of water. Sugar cravings are often confused for thirst. Curb these cravings by making sure you are well hydrated and drink WATER before deciding whether sugar is calling.
- Get enough sleep. There is nothing that fuels bad food choices and sugar cravings like lack of sleep. Your body is hard wired to find sources of energy (calories) and it knows from experience what the easiest and fastest sources are (sugar and caffeine). Using them creates a vicious cycle that will only make the problem worse.
- Eat well-balanced meals with adequate fiber and protein. This will keep your blood sugar more level throughout the day make saying no to temptations easy.
- Plan healthier holiday meals. Would it break your heart to skip the ambrosia salad? Switching out a couple of recipes will go a long way in improving the quality of the meal. Instead of a sweet potato dish that includes butter, brown sugar and/or marshmallow, try jewel-studded sweet potatoes. Instead of making brussels sprouts with bacon, simply roast and drizzle them with a balsamic reduction. High glycemic foods like mashed potatoes and desserts can be savored in self-loving moderation. And P.S.–Skip the bread.
- Stop eating before you’re full. Thoroughly enjoy your food, just resist eating too much. Chew. Savor. You can do this AND be able to experience the body, the life, and the health you want. It’s not either or. If being uncomfortably full is part of the ‘holiday experience’, it’s never too late to start a new tradition of eating good food in reasonable quantity—feeling good—and feeling good about yourself too.
- Keep what you REALLY want in LIFE top of mind. The struggle around food has a lot to do with the fact that It’s easier to imagine what a food tastes like and how it will make you feel when you eat it than it is to imagine what it would feel like to manifest your life’s deepest desires. The trick is to get more ’associated’ to your desires than to anything else. Let’s say your ideal includes losing 20 lbs. You have to be able to imagine what that would be like as if it were as real and close as the candy bowl. This requires actively imagining your ideal future self in a way that makes it so real you can recall it with ease, to the point that it influences your decisions as much as the tempting treat in front of you.
I know a lot of folks don’t want to so much as think about healthy eating until after the holidays, but a little effort in the right places will make the holidays so much sweeter.