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Keeping Up with your Goals while Enjoying the Holidays

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

Let’s face it, keeping healthy + motivated during the holidays is a struggle and personally a time I used to dread. My history of binge eating, food restricting, dieting + calorie counting that led to self-punishment of over exercising the guilt away made me want to avoid Thanksgiving feasts + Christmas cookie bakes for years. After each holiday instead of walking away full of cheer I found myself walking away full of shame for “getting off track” or relapsing back into my old ways. Needless to say, I was sick of dealing with the endless cycle and knew I needed to treat myself better in order to embrace these special times I longed to enjoy. So with that, I’ve created a list of tips I find helpful during these times + hope you may find them helpful too!

”You can enjoy food, connect with others and be healthy + fit - all at the same time!” -Precision Nutrition

Here’s how:

Don’t Change what You’re Doing + Continue to Move

Trying to squeeze in extra HIIT workouts, juice cleanses or carb cutting before the holiday to compensate for all you are going to eat will end up doing more harm than good. Instead, stick to exactly what you’ve been doing. Eat regularly throughout the day, keep up with your exercise routine + enjoy each day leading up to the holiday as well. Feeling unmotivated? As the weather gets cooler it’s easy to shut down but if you can, aim for 150 minutes of exercise a week. Try replacing running for brisk walking, adding in yoga to aid stiff muscles or strength training instead of cardio. Workouts do not need to leave you crawling on the floor but moving for 150 minutes each week has major health benefits such as weight loss + improving overall heart health. Need more guidance? Try out my 4 day body weight program for free!

Healthy Eating Tips the Day of

1: Eat Breakfast! Skipping breakfast will most likely lead to a food binge later in the day. Instead, try to spread your meals so you can remain energetic, present + satiated all day long.

2: Drink plenty of water! Water is essential to the body + without staying hydrated, you are more likely to overeat during the feast. Water can also aid in proper digestion + may eliminate the sluggish feeling the day after.

3: BYOD (Bring Your Own Dish)! If you are worried about not having any food options that sit well with your body + you’re not wanting to be stuck over-eating mediocre casseroles - bring something you feel comfortable + great eating! You may never think simple roasted vegetables would be a hit but last year I had so many compliments bringing them in. So plan ahead, put your needs first, and make some choices you won’t regret in the end.

4: Eat slowly + Be present! The moment I stopped walking into holiday parties + fixating on food first is the moment I started to find my joy. My joy wasn’t in the food, my joy was in my surroundings. Instead of hiding in the corner + shoveling down your plate - use this time to sit + connect with others. This will in turn help you to slow down your meals + enjoy the flavors while finding an emotional connection elsewhere - one that will last longer than the cookies! Check out this article for more information on slow eating:

5: Don’t skip on your favorites! Yes, as a health + nutrition coach I am encouraging you to eat your favorite cookies, pies, potatoes + gravy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying your favorites, just remember, they will be there tomorrow! There is absolutely no need to eat the whole tin of cookies in one sitting leaving you to feel sick + guilty the following day. Instead, have one or two + save some for tomorrow or later in the week. This will help you not only with self-control, but also in giving yourself permission to enjoy your favorite “forbidden” foods all the time. In turn, you will develop a healthier relationship with these type of foods + discover less bingeing along the way.

Don’t Punish Yourself the Day After

Maybe you ended up over-eating but just remember - one day is not going to ruin all your progress! Let go of any guilt or shame your are feeling + move on. Punishing yourself by restricting food the day following, over-exercising or saying “I’ll start again Monday” is just that - punishment. 9/10 this will lead you right back in the place you are now + it’s honestly no way to live. In order to beat this cycle, you need to pick yourself up with proper, gentle movement + a whole lot of self-love!

Last, if You are Struggling...

Tell someone. Believe me, I know how easy it is to feel alone in a room filled with inviting people. If you struggle with food or social anxiety, binge eating, disordered eating thoughts or other negative behaviors that only seem to get worse around these types of events - know you do not have to do it alone. Talk to a family member or close friend who can not only keep you accountable, but be there for you if + when you need.

What other tips to you have for enjoying the holiday while keeping up with your goals? Feel free to share any below!

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