Do you feel challenged to stick to your healthy habits during the holiday season?
If you said yes, you're not alone. In fact one study found that nearly half of Americans plan to abandon their healthy habits during the holiday season.
The truth is, maybe you start out with good intentions.
This year you're going to limit the fun seasonal foods and beverages and add in some extra workouts...
...but then you indulge when you said you wouldn't, stop planning your food, and soon you're skipping your workouts.
Or maybe even just thinking about the holidays leaves you feeling anxious, unsure, and overwhelmed, so you've already decided it's too hard and you'll just start over again after the holidays.
But what if you could make sticking to your healthy habits EASIER this year?
Good news, you can. And here are 7 simple tips to help you do it!
It’s okay to indulge
You can honor your eat better goals and enjoy some fun too. I often hear women trying to talk themselves out of enjoying fun foods this time of year, telling themselves they have to say "No" to everything fun in order to stay on track and make progress toward their goals, otherwise the wheels will fall off and they'll be doomed to start over after the holidays.
Yet the truth is your energy is far better spent learning how balance fun foods with more nutrient dense ones. Studies show when you do, you're far less likely to overdo it and walk away feeling more satisfied too!
What if instead of beating yourself up for enjoying fun foods… you simply learn how to plan for them? Planning puts you in the driver's seat of your choices, which will leave you feeling more in control, and when you feel in control, you act in control, reducing overeating and binge eating.
Try this: when you get up in the morning, take a few minutes to write down what you'll eat that day. Include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Be sure to include any festive events and gatherings on your calendar. You may not always know what is going to be served, but you can plan to enjoy reasonable portions and honor your body's hunger and fullness cues.
Make healthier versions of holiday treats
A fun and simple way to enjoy more of those holiday favorites without the fear of sabotaging your goals is to whip up some healthier versions.
Here are a few simple ways to do it:
Make healthier brownies by swapping white sugar, butter and oils with honey or maple syrup, bananas, nut butter and cocoa powder.
Swap white flour for whole wheat flour in your cookies, breads and muffins.
Create healthier snack platters with fresh fruits, veggies paired with your favorite dip, whole grain crackers and a few fun low fat cheeses.
Use seasonal spices to boost flavors.
And for some fun healthier cocktails, check out these tasty festive sips!
There are lots of simple ways you can make small and simple level ups, without compromising on fun or flavor.
Water is so important, not just for keeping you hydrated, but in aiding with digestion, nutrient absorption and reducing food cravings. Water plays an important role in your overall health, helping to fill you up and clean you out. And it's one of the simplest ways to support your healthy living goals.
And staying hydrated helps reduce mindless munching on those snacks scattered around social events when you may not even really be hungry. Aim for at least 64 ounces of water each day to support healthy body function and keep you feeling your best!
Plan your workouts
If you have some busy days and evenings lined up it can be easy to let your workouts slide. A simple way to set yourself up for success is by planning to get your workout in first thing in the morning. Not only will you feel great having knocked something off your list first thing, but studies show that one healthy choice often leads to another. Now that's what I call setting yourself up for success!
Ditch the All or Nothing
When things get busy, the unexpected comes up, or plans change, you may need to adjust your expectations. Some days meal prep may be grabbing a pre-cooked protein and bag of veggies at the store on your way home, other days you may be able to throw that pot on the stove and cook up a meal that will leave you with leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. Some days your usual hour long workout may be realistic, others a quick 15-minute session may be more realistic. Be flexible and look for solutions, asking yourself, "What CAN I do?" rather than, "Now I can't do___!"
Investing 1% toward your health, fitness and wellness is better than 0%. Show up for you, you're worth it.
Take standing breaks
Long days of sitting are hard on your body and mind.
Did you know the simple act of standing more regularly can help you...
Reduce the risk of weight gain
Lower risk of heart disease
Lower risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases
Reduce chronic pain
Increase energy and improves mood
Improve muscle tone
Many people find themselves sitting more over the holidays. From cocktail gatherings and extended meals, to holiday movies and inclement weather, there’s an increased potential for lazying around. Try to get up and move your body for at least 5 minutes out of every hour. Whether it's utilizing a standing desk, doing some light stretching exercises, or pacing while take a phone call.
Look for opportunities to invite others into your healthy habit routine. Maybe it's having a kiddo or partner help you with food prep, inviting a family member or friend to play in the snow, or inviting a neighbor for a walk and talk. From cooking fun meals together and taking a stroll to look at holiday lights. to snow-shoeing and living room dance parties… anything goes!
Are you tired of starting over every Monday, hopping from diet to diet, wondering if you'll ever get it "right" so that you can lose the weight and become the best version of you? I’ve got you friend! Come join me inside my FREE women’s-only Facebook community: Eat Better with Coach Mindy. It's for busy women like you who are ready to lose weight, gain energy, get healthy and fit -- without restrictive diets or punishing food rules.