Survival Tips To Stay Healthy, Guilt-Free, and Fit This Season
I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that the holidays are literally around the corner.
It means that starting next week, we’ll be bombarded with a month or more of constant treats and amazing meals…
This is the perfect time to put that 80-20 rule into full effect. If we are able to stay on track with healthy food and exercise choices at least 80% of the time, we should be able to keep up with our current health and fitness levels. The remaining 20% should be used with discretion.
Use that 20% to treat yourself to something that you may only have during this time of year…like Mom’s special gluten-free Stuffing with that Secret Ingredient, or Grandma’s Creamed Corn (my personal favorite), or my Gluten-free and Dairy-free Salted Caramel Apple Pie, or Dad’s famous gluten-free and dairy-free Crustless Streusel Pumpkin Pie.
Whatever those special treats are that you look forward to at this time of year, allow yourself to enjoy them. These special meals are what help create the traditions and memories of this season…just do it with some discipline.
9 survival tips to get you through this season:
- Be Realistic – The holiday season is filled with many temptations and time restraints. Setting goals is important but do not set yourself up for failure. Determine a goal that is challenging but doable. Aim to maintain your current weight. Don’t aim to lose 20lbs by January 1st. Performance goals are also great this time of year. Saying you will exercise 24 times by the end of the year or will be able to do 2 more push-ups by December 31st are excellent examples of challenging, but doable, goals.
- Plan Ahead – Failing to plan is planning to fail. This is not the time of year to fly by the seat of your pants. Making grocery lists, planning what you will take to the holiday party, and packing healthy snacks for a long day of shopping will go a long way in maintaining fitness during the holidays.
- Eat the Christmas Nuts – Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds are great snacks. Don’t believe the hype that they are “too fatty.” The fats in these types of foods are healthy and they help with reducing hunger pains. Natural nut butters are great as well.
- Stick to Lean Meats, Nuts, Beans, and Eggs – Getting quality protein is important. Lean meats and eggs provide the best source of protein to help with a variety of functions not the least of which is helping you feel fuller longer. Because protein takes longer to digest, it stays in the digestive system longer, limiting hunger. This is important when we are staring at the homemade pies that Aunt Sally made. If you are a vegetarian, get your proteins from beans and nuts.
- Drink Up (and not the booze) Start each party off with 2 or 3 glasses of water with lemon slices. Water helps with energy levels, digestion, and hunger. It also has no calories. The water will keep you feeling full, keep you hydrated and quench your thirst. It will prevent you from over-indulging in higher calorie, less healthy choices.
- Eat Your Protein 1st – consuming your portion of lean protein first, followed by your vegetables and fruit will help satiate your hunger and you will be far less likely to eat the junk food available.
- “Mingle” All The Way – Make it a point to socialize with others at the party. Talk to some old friends. Ask Aunt Jane about her health. Ask Cousin Tom about his new job. Listen to your boss tell his favorite story. Talking and mingling during the party is a great way to build community and relationships and it also keeps you away from the buffet table.
- Eat The Good Stuff – Fill your plate with healthy favors and appetizers. Some good lean gluten-free choices would be foods such as shrimp, salmon, unsalted nuts, fruits, vegetables, salsa, whole grain chips and low-fat cheeses.
- Just “Bring” It –Take a healthy clean gluten-free option as your offering for the next party. This way you know there will be at least one good option for you to eat. And, of course, this magazine issue is packed with good choices for you to bring to your next gathering.
- Snack Before the Party – Going to a holiday gathering on an empty stomach will cause you to over eat in no time. 30-60 minutes before attending the party, grab a clean and healthy snack like an apple and a handful of nuts. The snack will curb your hunger and help you from over-indulging.
Snack ideas to munch on before you hit those holiday parties:
- 1 Can of Light Tuna in Water mixed with Olive Oil Mayonnaise on Cucumber Slices
- Handful of Cashews and Walnuts
- Pumpkin Seeds and Raw Carrots
- Sliced Hard-Boiled eggs on Cucumber Slices
- Nut Butter on Celery Sticks
- Handful of Almonds with ¼ Avocado
- Hard-Boiled Egg and Berries or Peaches
- Gluten-Free Organic Beef Jerky with Carrots
- Kale Chips with a handful of Almonds
- Pumpkin Seeds and Cucumber Slices
- Organic Hummus with Carrot and Cucumber Slices
- Handful of Pistachios and apple slices
- Homemade Trail Mix
Now’s the perfect time to get a head and start the season off right. If you want a bit of guidance and some done-for-you meal plans, shopping lists, cookbooks, and workouts, then you can also check out this 10-Day Challenge that will put you ahead in your holiday health and fitness and leave you ready to have some fun this season!
You can check out the 10-Day Challenge HERE. It is full of immune-boosting nutrition and meal ideas to get you through the holidays.
It’s time to enjoy the season and all of the fun that comes with it…just keep these survival tips in mind and you will be ready to have your pie and be able to eat it too!