Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holiday season is tough. But it can be done. Even if you’re being bombarded with sweet treats as gifts. This is especially a problem for me as a teacher. My students love giving me sweets. Not to mention the fact that my coworkers love making sweets and setting them out on the break room table. Which, by the way, is unavoidable because it’s right next to my mailbox that I have to check daily. So what do I do to stay healthy this time of year? It takes some discipline but here are some tips that can help you out.
Don’t deprive yourself. If there’s something that you’d like to try, go for it. Just take one bite and throw it out after or share it with someone else. Don’t deprive yourself of having something delicious. Deprivation may set you up for failure later in the day. Everything in moderation is such a cliche but it works. Because if you deprive yourself, you’ll end up grumpy and envious of others. Also, don’t feel guilty trying some treats. ‘Tis the season after all.
Set a good example. Bake up some healthy treats for coworkers and friends. Maybe you will convince them that healthier is better. And healthy doesn’t have to be bland. There are many healthy holiday treat recipes that you can share with them. Try to set a new healthy trend. Spread the word and help others adopt a healthy approach to the holidays.
Don’t feel bad re-gifting sweets. My students love giving me sweets that I don’t feel like eating. Instead of throwing them out, I usually see if my mom wants them or has friends she can give them to. She belongs to a gardening club full of old ladies who love sweets. There’s always going to be someone who wants what you shouldn’t eat. You can also try donating some of your unwanted sweets to local food banks and homeless shelters.
Don’t neglect your workout schedule. It’s easy this time of year to feel busy, rushed, and stressed. I made up a bunch of excuses to avoid the gym last holiday season and it showed. I put on some weight. Lesson learned. This year, I am going to make working out a priority. I’m going to set a schedule and stick to it. If you’re traveling for the holidays, do some research. A lot of gyms and workout facilities offer drop-ins and special rates for out-of-town visitors.
Try not to cheat on your diet. “Cheating” should be reserved for special occasions. I already plan to “cheat” on Christmas Eve at my boyfriend’s parents house and on Christmas day at my parents house. So I’m going to try really hard to not indulge in sweets at other times. This one takes a lot of self control. And it also goes back to step one: don’t deprive yourself. If you are dying to try a piece of your coworker’s fudge, break off a tiny piece and give the rest to someone else or throw it out. It’s easy to “cheat” during this time of year so try your best not to, but don’t feel guilty if you do.
Drink lots of water. Drinking water helps you feel more full and may cut your craving for sweets. Try drinking more water than you usually drink, especially if you’ve been going overboard with the tiny samples of sweet treats. Water helps to flush your system. It can’t undo all the damage you may have done, but it can help reset your system.
Make a wish list. I already have it all figured out when people ask me what I want for Christmas. I do my research and create a list of healthy things that I want. Often times it’s new workout clothes, fitness gear, fancy kitchen gadgets or healthy cookbooks. There are a lot of good healthy gift resources on Amazon and Pinterest. But you must do your research and create a list. Telling people that you don’t know what you want for Christmas leads them to give you a giant plate of cookies. Or even worse, Bath and Bodyworks products.
Remeber what the holidays are really about. The holidays often seem to revolve around food. However, they’re about spending time with friends and family, and celebrating the things that are important to you. Health and fitness can be a part of that. If you’re setting a good example for loved ones, they too may start to embrace their health. Keep up with the healthy attitude and know that a healthy, happy you is the best gift you can give your loved ones.