#1 Habits aren’t made in a few days, and they aren’t broken in a few days, either. If you miss a workout or depart from the way you’ve been eating… your habits aren’t broken, and you’re not “off the rails.” You’re fine.
# 2 On the other hand, look for ways to “load” your holidays with tokens of your healthy habits, to keep the momentum moving forward. Short, easy workouts are a great way to do this. It’s a great idea to work out every other day to help keep habits moving forward.
#3 Pack tons of nutrition – especially protein and fiber – into the meals that aren’t “holiday meals,” strictly speaking. For example, have a protein smoothie for breakfast when you know that you’ll be having a big holiday lunch. Keep Greek yogurt, fruit, and plain nuts around for snacks. Hard boil eggs to keep around for breakfasts and snacks.
#4 Exercise in morning so that your workouts don’t compete/conflict with other holiday activities.
#5 Eating too much sugar is the easiest, fastest way to feel gross from overeating.
#6 Exercise doesn’t always have to be a “workout.” Taking a walk with your friends or family is also good for you!
#7 Picking too much on food while cooking is also a pretty unsatisfying way to overeat.
#8 Don’t bother trying to calculate how many calories you’ll burn with a workout, so that you can “cancel out” a big holiday meal. Exercise doesn’t work that way. Stay active, enjoy your food, and minimize overeating instead.
#9 You can still cook “normal” meals and even meal prep on holiday weeks, and I highly recommend doing so!
#10 It’s okay to throw away food. The waste happens when we buy or cook too much, not when we listen to our bodies and avoid overeating.
#11 People are not paying very much attention to how and what you eat. If someone does say something, as awkward as it is, it’s truly their problem and not yours.
And finally, my favorite tip for any “special occasion” eating:
#12 Prioritize eating your absolute favorites, and avoid eating food that you’re not really “into.” If you’re not a sweets person, just pass on the desserts. If you’re not a huge fan of the mashed potatoes, don’t eat a big helping of it. But if you are nuts for your aunt’s peanut butter balls, just have those and skip on all the things you don’t love!
Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone!