The holiday season is upon us and boy is it hard to resist heaping my plate full of mac and cheese, candied yams, greens, dressing and PLEASE get that sweet potato pie as far from me as possible!! Yep, you’ve found me out – I loooove some holiday food. I know I’m not the only one who finds it sacrilegious to push away from the table and commit myself to ONLY ONE SERVING! But it’s not just the big dinner that gets in our way. What about all those treats and drinks at holiday parties? No one wants to be a party-pooper.
So what is someone to do with all this temptation? If you’ve got fitness goals, you can easily find yourself between a plate and a hard place, but it doesn’t have to be total devastation. In fact, you can still enjoy the parties and the meal on the big day! The caveat? Moderation, by-the-minute discipline, and setting small goals to stay on track with achieving your fitness goal.
Go to that holiday party everyone’s been waiting for all year, but instead of getting 3 of each bite-sized morsel (those mini-quiches are always tiny) and treating it like a meal, get one of each and treat it like a light snack. That kind of moderation can be easy when breaking it into small by-the-minute decisions. Instead of swilling 3-4 drinks an hour, challenge yourself to just sip one drink for an hour and spend more time chatting it up with new people at the party! You can even up the ante and possibly reach your step goal by dancing off a few calories, rather than just holding up the wall. And if you’re nearly as terrible a dancer as I am, you’ll get an added workout of laughter. Laughing at yourself if just as fun as laughing at someone else and less hurtful and just think of all the joy you’ll share with other party goers.
When enjoying the big dinner, see if you can fix your plate with some of the plate still showing and with only one layer of food. Tough, I know, but you can do it! If you eat a bit less that you usually would, you’ll still be awake for the game in the afternoon or to play with any new toys you get to figure out. While everyone else is temporarily dead to the world, you could even take a little walk around the block to really let the food settle before dessert or that siren-like second plate singing your name.
Ultimately, give yourself permission to have fun and to enjoy the fullness of the holidays. With a few adjustments, your fitness journey doesn’t have to go off the rails. And if you do end up over indulging, don’t beat yourself up. Be patient with yourself. Get back onto your plan and focus on small daily goals or event specific ways to stay on track.
Happy Holidays and Enjoy!