How To Stay On Track Through The Holidays (Without Losing Your Mind)

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Hey guys!  I put this little cheat-sheet together as part of a nutrition seminar I had with some of my clients, and thought maybe you could benefit from it as well.  It's just a few tips and tricks to stay on track through the holidays without 1) gaining weight, 2) going crazy with stress and/or guilt, and 3) falling off the healthy bandwagon you've worked so hard to stay on.  If you're like me and most everyone you know either doesn't eat whole foods on a regular basis or they just don't worry about what goes into their food around the holidays, then this is a great resource to keep you on track with your health and stay sane in the process!

Navigating through the holidays

Before Dinner:

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  1. Exercise the morning of…a 20-minute bodyweight workout will be just fine or join a 5k race in the area. Don't worry about being all fancy here, the idea is to just get that blood flowing, metabolism running, and mindset off to good start first thing.  You and your body will feel great!
  2. Start your day off with a good protein-filled breakfast. This can be small (so you save those extra calories for your big meal), but starting your day with a healthy meal will get your mindset on track and will make you feel empowered to face the day ahead with no guilt.
  3. Bring a guilt-free, healthy dishor snack you can share and consume with your loved ones. A low calorie snack will also prevent you from nibbling on candy or the like around the room before and after dinner.  And maybe even keep you from overindulging on drinks…

At the Dinner Table:

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  1. Consume your protein. Make sure you are still getting in an adequate amount for your day.  Being sure you eat enough protein will fill you up faster and keep you full longer so you won't want to binge on other poor food choices at the table.
  2. Eat your vegetables! Vegetables will also help you become and stay full for a longer period and, again, keep you from over-consuming poor food choices.  By eating your veggies, you will also be making sure you are eating at least some nutrients and less likely to overeat.  (Note: corn is not a vegetable.)
  3. Limit your carbs to 1 serving (or less) per dish. Do your best to not go for seconds on the carbs… Carbs make you crave more carbs even if you're already full.  We all know you aren't going to be skipping dessert (and you probably won't be skipping the drinks either), so just be aware that sweet potato casserole, potatoes, stuffing/dressing, fruit, wine, corn, as well as your dessert are ALL sources of carbs..
  4. If you're nervous about dessert…don't be. We're all going to have some, just be smart about it. The secret advice when it comes to enjoying your holiday desserts?  Choose your grandma's secret family recipe (you know, the one you only get 1x per year) over other dessert options.  Resist the urge to munch on the candy that is lying out.  That bowl of M&Ms sitting on the coffee table – you can have those ANY day of the year… it's nothing special.  Just because it's sitting out, it doesn't mean you need to consume it.
  5. Control your portions. This includes your portions for your protein, carbohydrates, and fat.  It's all about that balance and blood sugar levels at the end of the day.
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Stay on track bonus tips: 

  1. Don't let your holiDAY turn into a week+ of binge eating… Eat your fill the day of, and then get back on track the rest of the week. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
  2. Don't stress! Stress actually puts your body into a "fight or flight" mode where it makes it difficult to digest and burn food for fuel.  This is bad news for fat burning.  The less you stress, the happier you and your body will feel.
  3. Enjoy your time with family and friends. This should be a given, but sometimes we over-think too much and we become guilty and stress out.  Just enjoy your time.    Make the best choices that you can.

Hope this cheat-sheet has been helpful for you!  But most importantly, enjoy your holidays!  Goal?  No stress.  No guilt.  Pure fun.  All while you stay on track.  Who's with me?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! (:

Is there anything you would like further explanation on to help you stay on track??  Let me know in the comments below!