Holiday Guide From The Archives
The holidays can take us from healthy and thriving right back to uncomfortable, overweight, and dependent on unrealistic New Year’s resolutions. While parties and get-togethers may not be happening like usual, many of us will likely still enjoy the season’s treats and indulgences we look forward to having once a year. But if the holidays fill you with worry and fear about regressing in your health and wellness goals, gaining weight, and feeling like you aren’t going to be able to enjoy time with your loved ones, let my Holiday Survival Guide 2020 point you in a positive direction!
Avoid The Easiest Holiday Mistake
One of the easiest holiday mistakes when it comes to our health and nutrition is the one that many don’t realize is happening until it’s too late. Of course, we want to enjoy a holiday meal and then we probably want to enjoy leftovers if there are any. The leftovers can easily turn into nibbles and bites, overeating, craving more, and eventually slipping into the “one more taste” mentality. What was meant to be a day or two has now transpired into a week or two and those poor eating choices and habits could feel a whole lot harder to kick! Likewise, this slippery slope can also make us feel unmotivated and disappointed, and then even more aggravated that we can’t get back to some sort of normalcy with our diets.
Survival Tip: Practice Mindful Enjoyment
Allow yourself room to enjoy, but be mindful of how much you are having. Equally as important is paying attention to what your body is telling you. If you are reaching for the leftovers again and again and keep craving the treats, start to introduce more fruits and vegetables into your diet while drinking more water throughout the day.
Hoarding Calories Can Lead To Overeating
One of the most important habits I encourage my nutrition clients to apply during the holiday season, beginning at Thanksgiving, is to make sure they eat before they have their holiday meal. Ever wonder why you feel so tired and stuffed after waiting all day to eat and then funnel down everything in sight? Hunger and food deprivation leading up to overeating one big meal is very demanding on your GI system and hormones, leading to poor nutrient absorption, exhaustion, changes in mood, bloating, constipation, and weight gain.
Survival Tip: Stick To Your Eating Habits
Instead of holding out all day in anticipation of the main meal, stick to your normal eating habits and routine. Plan out a healthy breakfast and mid-day lunch. Try to include a complex carbohydrate source to provide you with lasting energy, 25-30 grams of protein to keep you satiated, and a healthy fat source to compliment overall macronutrient balances.
Divide Things Up With This Easy Holiday Tip
If you’re looking for effective ways to keep your nutrition in check during the holidays but don’t want to stress too much about tracking or accounting for everything on your plate, trust in the ¾ rule to help you along the way! This easy to remember tip will encourage you to make healthier choices but still have room to enjoy without sacrificing your body’s nutritional needs and your personal goals.
Survival Tip: Use The 3/4 Rule
Opt for filling your plate with ¼ fruits and vegetables as well as ½ with lean protein allowing the remaining ¼ to be used for whatever else you would like to have as long as you aren’t overloading your portion.
Here’s One Sweet Idea
ALL THE TREATS! Who doesn’t love all the different cookies, chocolates, and sweets during the holidays? There’s a way you can try a variety of desserts and save yourself from unpleasant sugar spikes and crashes, excessive calories, and uncomfortable bellyaches!
Survival Tip: Share
Team up with a family member or friend before hitting the desserts. By sharing with someone you can split options and still get a taste for everything.
One of the more common situations I hear about during the holiday season is the challenge of saying no to another cocktail or drink. Socializing and being with family or friends is often a time when we have a drink or two and allow ourselves to unwind, kick back, and relax. It feels good to take a break from life and just enjoy! Time goes fast and drinks go down easy so you’ll want to make sure that you are keeping your drinks inline with your goals by thinking ahead and making smart choices.
Survival Tip: Have A Game Plan
Before celebrating take a little time to come up with a game plan. This will help you make the best decisions, feel in control, and still have a great time. Remember to avoid drinks mixed with soda, juice, or cream, opt for lighter beer choices, limit shots of liquor, and be mindful of your wine options. Couple these tips with drinking water during your main meal and throughout the day/night. Choose to enjoy a cocktail before your holiday meal, and if you want a second, wait until later on with dessert. If you’re interested in how serving sizes amount to calorie totals for some common holiday drinks, screenshot this helpful chart to have on hand!
|Alcoholic Drink||Serving Size||Estimated Calories|
|Light Beer||12 oz||103|
|Regular Beer||12 oz||153|
|Gin (80 Proof)||1.5 oz||97|
|Rum (80 Proof)||1.5 oz||197|
|Vodka (80 Proof)||1.5||97|
|Whiskey (80 Proof)||1.5 oz||97|
|Bloody Mary||4.6 oz||120|
|Rum and Coke||8 oz||185|
|Vodka and Tonic||7 oz||189|
|Sauvignon Blanc||5 oz||128|
|Pinot Grigio||5 oz||128|
|Pinot Noir||5 oz||121|
Be In The Moment
Above all, the most important tip for surviving the holidays this year doesn’t come from what’s on your plate or who you’re splitting cookies with. It comes from the heart.
Survival Tip #6: Slow Down
Even though 2020 has been nothing short of crazy, life-changing, and draining, December gives us an opportunity to slow down and appreciate all the good we have in our lives. The holidays bring feelings of nostalgia and warmth and are often the only chance for some to see family and loved ones. As we head toward the new year, I encourage you to make it a priority to be present in every moment. Regardless of the hills and valleys that the past eleven months have put us through, there’s one thing we are guaranteed. RIGHT NOW. So hit pause a little longer this season, make new memories, laugh louder, hug longer, and always say I love you. Life is too short to be anything but happier together.
Interested in the original 2019 Festivities and Feasts Survival Guide? Check it out here.