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No More Guilt During the Holidays
December always gives me the willies, because it requires a lot of social activity within a short period of time.
This freaks me out for two reasons:
1) I am secretly an introvert
2) Appetizers + Christmas Chocolate + Booze = Calorie *BOMB*
Here’s my tried and true strategy to avoid the weight gain and be social at the same time.
No 1. Remember What the Holidays Are About = Bring More Meaning and Connection
Apart from the religious traditions being held in December, holidays are about compassion, spreading cheers, singing, and giving gifts. What do the holidays mean to you? Who do you want to connect with? Maybe there’s someone who you’d like to get to know better… or perhaps need to create a better relationship with. In summary: It’s not about the food.
No 2. Eat Before You Go
Yes the food is free at a party, but the point of going to a holiday party is not to stuff yourself silly. If you show up like a hungry animal it will be really difficult to make a good healthy choice and it will be just as difficult to stop eating when you are full.
Eat a bit to take the edge off, but will leave room for more good food. My suggestion… a hard-boiled egg, small green salad, carrots/celery with a bit of hummus or peanut butter. Then walk into the party composed.
No 3. Be Picky with What You Will Eat
Most frozen hors d’oeuvres are actually quite disgusting with its fake overly processed dough. Focus on what really tastes good and enjoy the heck out of it. Then look for where the “real” food is… fruit, veggie slices, meats or salads. You might discover that there isn’t any real food on the table. Then you’ll be happy that you had a snack before coming ;-)
No. 4. Know What Portion a Size Is
Eat one plate of food… don’t graze the entire evening till you are stuffed like a turkey. Without awareness… you could possibly eat the equivalent of two days worth of calories in one evening. Do that once a week during December and you are looking at a few kilos around the weight and hips area!
No. 5. Count Your Drinks and Drink a Glass of Water in Between Each Round
Again… with free drinks available, it’s very easy to say yes to refills. The problem is that after 3 cocktails or champagne it’s very difficult to make a good decision. You might make a bad decision not only with what you eat, but with what you drink and what choices you make that evening (wink wink ;-)
No. 6. Add in Time for Lots of Self-Care
Make time to be on your own and get space to digest all that is happening. Being overwhelmed is a guarantee towards over indulging on drinks and food as our body attempts any way possible to calm and comfort itself.
My favorite ways to reconnect with myself:
· Take a long long long shower or bath
· Go for a walk in nature or along water
· Take a 15-minute break and do a guided meditation
· Block one morning and go sit in a café to read a book with a nice coffee or tea
All in all, the holidays are an exceptionally crazy time where people impose on us, there’s a great expectation to be exuberantly happy and cheerful, and we are spending way too much money. It seems like we need to “pretend” our way through it. My suggestion is stay as grounded as possible by focusing on meaning, eating good food and taking care of yourself first. Then you will be able to cope with the nuttiness of this magical season and maybe even enjoy it.
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