Let’s face it, the actual holidays only last a few days, but “holiday eating” can last a whole month.
This can be a problem if you're trying to keep your blood sugars and waist line in check.
And it can be particularly troublesome for some of my clients who have made incredible progress throughout the year and dread this season because they may lose some of the ground gain.
One thing to keep in mind, is that on average, people only gain about 1-2 lbs (or less than 1kg) over the whole Christmas season.
So it's unlikely you'll be packing on like 10 lbs (or 4 kgs!)
And another thing, when you're making lifestyle changes, it's for LIFE.
Christmas, and every other holiday for that matter, is gonna come again next year so I suggest if you're struggling with "falling off the wagon", take the long view instead.
Try looking at the changes you're making as a new way of eating. Not something that you stop and then start again. But a whole new way to eat and a whole new way of looking at food and how it fuels you.
So if you want to have that pumpkin pie or extra chocoately-thingy-do, then go for it!
Because no one indulgence or even a day is gonna side-track your progress, unless you let it.
And that means if you have an off day where you feel like you "blew it", don't beat yourself up.
Recently, a long term client of mine slipped back a bit and regained 6 lbs or about 3kg that she had lost.
And instead of beating herself up and throwing in the towel, she just took it as a reminder that hey, what I was doing was working and I've gotten off track. Let's get back on track.
She didn't get stuck in the black hole of despair. She had a reasonable outlook.
And I told her that with that attitude, she will succeed.
When you're changing your lifestyle - the types of foods you eat and how active you are, it's not a "get there and done" kinda thing. It's a "let's get new healthier habits, for life".
A journey - and I hope - an enjoyable one!
We're here for such a short time on this planet. Why not make it as enjoyable as possible, right?
If you'd still like a few tips and strategies for minimizing holiday-fueled gorge fests, keep reading.
Below I've put together my top 10 tips for navigating the Christmas food when you want to have fun (of course!) but you don't have to undo any progress that you've made in terms of your weight or prediabetes reversal.
1. Stick to your regular, intentional eating plan as much as possible. Even though you may find your schedule jam packed with parties and functions, carve out that time to grocery shop and pack lunches.
2. Eat a fueling balanced breakfast each morning. Eating breakfast every day helps keep hunger and cravings at bay during the day, which can help avoid the temptation of treats at work.
3. Bring healthier snacks to work for sharing. There will be enough cookies and chocolates to go around so why not bring another choice. Bring fruit dipped in chocolate to your work party, make Califlower Hot Wings for your neighbourhood potluck, or these high fibre (and chocolate) muffins for a midday snack.
4. Keep the party food at the party. Don’t bring home leftovers, especially desserts. Avoid going to parties hungry. Have a small healthy snack before leaving the house so you’ll be able to make sensible choices.
5. Don’t fill up on empty calories like eggnog, pop, juice and alcohol. Alternate alcoholic drinks with low cal bevies like sparkling water or diet pop.
6. Host a HEALTHY pot luck instead of ordering pizza or high fat food. Encourage people to bring dishes that use lower fat recipes or lots of veggies and have a recipe exchange!
7. Beware of mindless snacking. Don’t keep treats at your desk or on the kitchen counter.
8. Indulge in special treats you can only get this time of year like your aunt’s famous holiday cake and skip things like the bread before supper, an extra serving of mashed potatoes, chips and other non special treats.
9. Think of creative ways to celebrate the holidays that don’t revolve around eating, like having a games tournament or going on a walk to enjoy the outdoor lights.
10. Be PICKY! Raise your standard for what constitutes as a treat or indulgence for you. Seriously, dial up your standard and you'll find that you're not tempted by the run-of-the-mill snacks you can pick up anywhere (think Dortios and mindlessly munching on nuts.)
Most of all, enjoy the season! And find a way of eating that works for you, no matter what life throws at you.
All my best,