How to Stay on Track During the Holidays

It’s officially November, which means it’s time for an influx of memes about how Halloween is out and Mariah Carey’s Christmas album is in. That also means that it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room – staying on track during the holiday season. The holiday season is filled with the four F’s: family (whether you like that or not), friends, fun, and FOOD. This is normally a dreaded topic because the holidays are supposed to be about being with loved ones, but that doesn’t mean we have to take a step back from loving ourselves. Let’s break it down. Culturally speaking, we spend spring and summertime trying to get into our best shape. The weather cools down and the holidays come around the corner, derailing much of that progress because we turn “cheat” or less nutritious meals into “cheat months”. Next thing we know, January 1st is here, the gym is packed and our minds are filled with resolutions once again about how we are really going to stick to being healthy this year. 


Now, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have that pumpkin pie, egg nog, or your favorite holiday treat. But if you have been putting in the work towards your goals or your current goals are hanging on by a thread, don’t let the holidays rob you of the opportunity to keep moving forward - sort of seems out of the holiday spirit, right? Remember to be kind to yourself! The odds of anyone staying totally on track during the holidays is unrealistic. Plus, food is a way to bring people together and those potatoes at the Thanksgiving table are definitely calling your name.


Eating well isn’t about perfection. Eating well is about setting intentions and putting yourself first. When pushy cousin Becky is trying to fill you up until you literally can’t move anymore, it is okay to say no. It is also okay to say yes to those cinnamon brownie squares that you’ve been waiting for all year.  Enjoy the holidays to the fullest, but break the cycle of over-splurging, back-tracking on all progress made from spring and summer, attempting to back-track around New Years, and then falling off the wagon because it’s too overwhelming. 


Here are some tips for staying on track during the holidays:


1. Set intentions.

Food is an extremely personal choice and you know your body best. Set your intentions and goals for the holiday season about how you want to approach food, how you will hold yourself accountable publicly, and how you want to feel before and after those holiday parties. 


2. Don’t stray too far from your norm.

Don’t skip your oatmeal in the morning to save calories for your big early dinner later that day. Consider eating protein and healthy-fat packed snacks to help curb cravings. 


3. Become the host.

This one may be out of the comfort zone for many, but by becoming the host of the party, you are more in control of the vibe and what is served. 


4. Veggies first.

Let veggies become synonymous with appetizers. Try to be intentional with keeping your pre-dinner choices filled with veggies rather than processed sugars and flour. This will help prevent strong cravings from all sides and the simple act of making a distinct choice will help provide a sense of accomplishment. 


5. Accountability partner.

Going against the norm can be tricky. If possible, find an accountability partner that understands your mindset and reasoning to help keep you on the path you want to be on. 


6. Drink lots of water.

You knew this one was coming. 


7. You are your own present! 

Slip-ups happen and probably will happen.  Be nice to yourself. Guilt is a toxic emotion that defeats the purpose of the holidays. Things can get out of control (probably will), take a U-turn and don’t look back. 


Happy Holidays from TBC! 


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