Do you usually struggle over the holidays with too much to do and not enough time? Do you tend to start the New Year off with pounds of extra fat? What about missing out on fun with family or friends because you’re sick or feeling exhausted?
You’re not alone.
Many of my clients have had similar challenges that they were able to move beyond once they tried a new approach. Doing things the same old way and expecting different results doesn’t work for anyone! It took using some different tools for them to get different (better!) results. The good news is that I’m going to share some tried and true tools that you can start using to make this holiday season your best yet!
1) Enjoy it all…just not all at once. Did you make/have a dozen side dishes on Thanksgiving? Are your holiday menus often overwhelming? Solution: spread it out! Who says you can only have those foods you love on just those holidays? Pick your favorite meals or sides and spread them out during the holiday season and savor them fully in reasonable amounts.
2) Transform your favorite holiday meals! You can upgrade any meal at any time so that it not only tastes GREAT but that you feel great when you eat it. Every client success story I’ve witnessed over the years uses this tool. Maybe you had a meal recently that you’ve loved in the past, but now it makes you feel bloated, tired, or heavy. Try an ingredient swap! You’ll find very similar and equally delicious flavor combos you’ll love that won’t set you back with your health goals. Is there an ingredient you know isn’t working for you? Use good ‘ol Google to search for the meal without that ingredient (common examples are dairy-free, grain-free, or sugar-free). There are TONS of great free recipes to help you get ideas. Here are some of my favorites.
3) Pick active ways to celebrate. What activity do you love doing? Some folks take a walk, others play a group sport or a game, or take the opportunity to try something new. Pick something that sounds fun for you. You don’t have to do the same thing every holiday. Perhaps your new tradition will be finding a new, fun activity to try. Here are some ideas to get you moving and here are some festive family fun options as well.
Want some additional tips to support your waistline and immune system? Here you go!
- Celebrate earlier in the day and get to bed at a reasonable time (lack of sleep weakens your immune system and also leads to poor blood sugar balance (translation: your body will want to store fat and you are more likely to get sick). Staying up later on occasion can be okay, but making a habit out of it will certainly make any goal you have that much harder.
- If you drink alcohol, sip on drinks and savor them to keep alcohol intake lower. Also have a glass of water in between drinks.
- Do some emotional “prepping” before partying. This cuts down on nervous eating and drinking & keeps you mindful so you can enjoy socializing even more. Emotional stress is taxing to your physical health: Your hormones, weight, energy, and immune system all suffer when you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or anxious. Some great ways you can keep your emotional stress level down are going outside for fresh air or a walk, mindful breathing, journaling, repeating words of encouragement or a motivating mantra to yourself (in your head or out loud), thinking of 1-3 things you feel grateful for, enjoying a 3-minute Pleasure Meditation, or using a HeartMath Inner Balance biofeedback device. You’ll benefit the most from doing some emotional prepping in the morning before getting out of bed, at night before going to sleep and a few minutes before going to a party or event. Start by picking one of these ways to prep and do it once a day. You can even do some of these preps while you are waiting at a traffic light, before eating a meal, while drinking water…with awareness, it easily fits right into your day!
Have you met anyone who enjoys yo-yo’ing health? Me neither. If you’re ready to get off the seesaw, all it takes is willingness and replacing the tools that aren’t working for you. These tips will help you feel and look great all year long. Pick 1 of these tips to get started living smarter, not harder. Good health is your greatest asset in life! When you feel good, you engage with life more and enjoy life more. Everybody wins! You absolutely can too.