Tips for Healthy Holidays

I know: most of you will not read this until after Thanksgiving. But that’s fine, because I don’t expect anyone to ‘eat healthy’ tomorrow anyway.

Nevertheless, you and I CAN eat healthy through the  remaining five weeks of these holidays, allowing ourselves to ‘go wild’ on just two of the days remaining (just like tomorrow!)

Before I proceed, I want to give thanks (and credit) to my friends at fooducate.com for the inspiration for these tips. They are awesome – you would do well to subscribe to their blog.

Every year we see it again. Late November signals the white flag of surrender for many people who give up their healthy habits without even a fight. It’s as if the holidays are a weapon of mass destruction, obliterating our healthy achievements and crushing our puny willpower.

It doesn’t have to be this way. By approaching the holidays with a can-do attitude, you can weather the calorie storm, enjoy the down time, and feel great. You will also set yourself up for a perfect start to 2014, with some healthy habits already in the bag, ready for some New Years Resolutions that you might just keep!

Did you know that those resolutions don’t work because of the Law of Diminishing Intent (Rory Vaden)? The law simply states “our intention to complete an activity is highest the moment we create that intention and then naturally over time our intention slowly starts to fade.”

Here are a few simple tips to help you reach January 1, 2014 in great shape, and with little or no guilt:

1. Don’t come (too) hungry. During the holidays, we are invited to many a tasty meal. A classic mistake is not to eat all day in order to make room for all the tasty treats awaiting us. However, this strategy backfires consistently because we tend to dramatically overeat. One new idea is to drink a healthy smoothie before you head to the table.

2. Start with water. Start all meals and parties by making sure you are properly hydrated. This will help reduce your overall caloric intake. I drink 88.5 fluid ounces daily (and use a smartphone app to help keep me on track: Water Your Body.)

3. Be selective. Many holiday meals and parties are buffet style with a dozen or two options to lump onto your plate. They are not all of the same quality. Before getting in line, get a bird’s eye view of what’s available and decide to choose only a few of the healthiest dishes.

4. Although the holidays last about 5 weeks, most of those days are regular work days. Save your caloric celebrations for the few days that actually are a holiday – Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, Boxing Day (for us colonials) and New Year’s Eve.

5. Continue with your healthy routines; whether it’s exercise, ‘eating clean’ or drinking water, keep at it. Don’t let the holidays derail you for more than a day or two. Get back to your regular routine fast.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!