Everybody knows the holiday season brings lots of cheer. And when I say lots of cheer, I’m referring to the baked goods and Booze. Whether it’s a gift, a work party, or you’re home for the holidays. There’s no doubt there will be a surplus of sugary foods and drinks. Now, there’s several different ways people attack the holidays. Everyone has that aunt or coworker who never has a cookie and packs her own snacks. Let’s call her Lisa. No one likes Lisa during the holidays. She’s uptight, boring and force laughs at every joke while everyone else is three drinks, and ½ a dozen cookies in. When Lisa walks out of the party in her leather pants though everyone is jealous. Then let’s say we have Barbie. Barbie loves the holidays. She makes a mean peppermint spiked eggnog and loves to bake. She’s been soooogood all fall and has finally started to shed the weight! But Barbie doesn’t want to be a bah humbug all holiday season. She wants to enjoy the time with her family and the holiday events that take place. It’s December third and Barbie has already eaten through her entire cookie advent calendar. She tells herself she’s done too much damage and she’ll pick her routine back up come January first. Who do we want to be? These seem like two extreme cases, but I am sure each of you know someone of each. Maybe it’s you. Are you tired of throwing away your hard work for one month? Are you sick of saying no to every tasty treat? It’s time we crack these holiday stigmas; I’m here to tell you that you can both enjoy your holiday break while still staying away from the naughty list. Here’s how!

1.) Don’t neglect your exercise. Last week’s blog highlighted not to neglect your rest during the holidays, but don’t disregard your exercise either! Your body has worked for months to be a certain way. Days, weeks, a month of rest will definitely affect your homeostasis. Maybe your exercise routine will look different, but when you go from working your body and eating clean to sitting down all day and consuming double the calories; you will take a hit. Many people think their body needs rest, which it does but remember our bodies are extremely efficient at adapting. When you are consuming a lot more carbohydrates and fats, you are essentially fueling your body with energy. Deliver that energy by moving your body.

2.) Portion your treats. The one thing I have learned about enjoying tasty foods while not throwing my goals to the wind is, portion matters! Maybe you want to try the cookie AND the cake. Half your portions. Most of the time we crave that flavor not the fat. Take the time to eat the tasty foods in smaller portions. And then, if you really want more, go for it! But give yourself some time to process your stomach’s wants verse needs.

3.) Don’t become a, “ I never” or “I always”. By this I mean do not identify yourself with being Lisa or Barbie! Your eating patterns do not define you. You don’t need to set rules for your holiday eating patterns. Listen to your body and become present with your environment. If someone took the time to bake something and really wants you to try it, try a piece! If you can go to Costco and take all the samples, you can sample your friends’ and family dishes as well.  

I hope these tips help keep you in your tip top shape this holiday season! But remember if you gain a few pounds or get a little off your routine, each day is a new day to start over and make new decisions. One bad day or night of eating does not ruin the entire month or season. Enjoy your holiday season, eat the cakes, but don’t go on a workout hiatus!

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