These are a few questions I’ve received this month from clients who desire to enjoy their holidays yet want to stay on track with their health goals. Their concern is if they “eat the cookie” their health goals have been ruined.
Do you have those feelings?
I refer to this as food guilt, where you beat yourself up when you enjoy eating foods that are not part of your healthy eating plan.
Or, you may throw the towel in immediately when you “eat the cookie.”
Listening to a client today, as she was beating herself up for eating holiday goodies this week, I realized that many are living through this season with an unhealthy mindset and are giving up on their health goals.
How would you feel if you knew that you could enjoy the holiday season without beating yourself up, giving up on your health goals, or walking around feeling guilty because you enjoyed yourself?
Would you enjoy yourself more?
Sure you would. Food guilt is a terrible mindset to live with, especially when you can make a few tweaks, enjoy the holiday season, and arrive on the other side with your health goals secure.
Your goal is balance. As you go through your day create balance with your decisions. Balance an unhealthy choice with one or two healthy choices.
Here are some healthy tweaks that will help you stay balanced during the holiday season.
Eat the Cookie, but not the entire tray
Truly, the holiday season should be called the sugar rush season.
Why can we go eleven months without gorging on sweets and come December 1st, we’re baking and snacking on everything we can find?
It’s okay to enjoy your sweets, as long as you take a balanced approach to your indulgence.
What’s a balanced approach?
Look at what’s before you and select only your favorite sweet. If there are more than one, then choose to eat very small portions of a limited few. I teach clients to limit themselves to three bites of a dessert. Three small bites will satisfy your craving.
Take time to make a healthier dessert for your event. Use natural ingredients to keep them healthier and keep your secret to yourself.
Balance the Sweet Tray with a Healthy Tray
Have you noticed that your sugar craving increases as you eat something sweet? Sugar is addictive and if you’ve cut back on sugar in your diet, you may find yourself binging at the sweet tray.
Balance your sweets with something healthy. Prepare a vegetable tray for your table to quickly end your sugar craving.
Make your own dip with healthy ingredients or make a bowl of hummus for healthier choices.
Balance Your Gut with Natural Probiotics
I know, who thinks about their gut when there’s so much to eat.
And that’s the problem, No one is thinking about the health of their gut at the holiday table.
With so many unhealthy choices set before us on the typical holiday table, our gut will quickly become overwhelmed.
You can easily add fermented dishes to your holiday table without too many complaints. We like fermented carrots, kimchi, or sauerkraut.
You can prepare your own fermented dish, or purchase pre-made ones, to help add probiotics to spice up your meal.
Keep Your Gut Balanced with Natural Prebiotics
Your gut remains healthy when you balance your eating with probiotics and prebiotics.
You’ll find it easier to add prebiotic foods to your holiday table, as they are foods you and your guests eat regularly.
Add dishes to your table that include onions, garlic, and asparagus, and legumes.
Balance Your Overall Health with Sleep
Are you aware that your sleep habits determine your eating habits?
When you are sleep deprived, you’ll experience increased hunger, which leads to overeating.
The holiday season is filled with many activities that we obligate ourselves to, on top of our already busy schedule, which leads to stress overload.
Keeping to a regular sleep routine of at least seven hours per night, will you’re your body reset and will go a long way to protect you from the cold and flu season.
Staying healthy through the holiday season is easy with a few tweaks here and there throughout your day. By being aware of the choices you have before you, you’ll find yourself enjoying the season without any food guilt or a desire to turn away from your health goals.
Come join our member’s Facebook Group – Healthy Living for Life, where we’ve been discussing how to manage your holidays in a healthier way.