If you’ve been making a conscious effort to work towards a healthier diet, the holidays can be a stressful time. Holiday parties, decadent desserts and cookie exchanges are just a few of the roadblocks thrown our way during the month of December. Here are my favourite holiday survival tips that I discuss with my patients at this time of year.
- Set reasonable goals
- Manage your expectations to avoid being disappointed in January. If you’ve been steadily losing weight, you may need to adjust your goals for December. Weight maintenance may be a more achievable goal for December. It’s better to end the holiday where you started than 5 pounds up!
- Be choosy.
- The holidays are filled with choices to make. What do you really want/need to be happy? Is it a favourite cookie recipe, or maybe a favourite holiday party? Look ahead and make a conscious decision to enjoy a few holiday favourites, and be ok with passing on those that don’t hold much meaning or enjoyment.
- Meal plan
- Once you’ve jotted down your commitments for the season, set aside some time to meal plan. Batch cook a few healthy favourites (chili, soups, stews) and freeze at least 3 meals to accommodate those busy Christmas concert weeknights!
- Make time for exercise
- Staying on top of healthy habits such as exercise can help you get back on track once December has passed. It also builds in some insurance for those inevitable extra treats you’ll find on your desk or table.
- Enjoy the holidays for more than just the food.
- There’s nothing wrong with enjoying good food with friends at a special time of year. But don’t make food the only thing you celebrate with. What about a walk with a friend you don’t see often? Or reading by the tree with a nice cup of spiced tea? Food can and should be part of our seasonal celebrations, just don’t let it take center stage!
Happy Holidays in whichever way you celebrate!