For many of us, this time of year is full of temptations and distractions to get off track from your diet and exercise program. You could easily choose to do some Christmas shopping instead of heading to the gym for a workout. Or you might feel like the decadent buffet at all of those holiday parties is calling your name louder than usual. The holidays can make it extra difficult to continue those healthy habits you’ve been working all year to establish. How do you avoid the traps and stay strong? The first thing you need is a plan of attack. I’ve got mine- do you have yours?
Staying consistent with exercise is never a problem for me. That’s my time to relieve stress and do something for myself, so I always make time for it no matter what. My weakness is when it comes to food. I love dessert. If I could eat candy and cookies all day long I’d be very content. So for me, the temptations start at Halloween and continue through Christmas (which includes two of my kids birthdays during that period- and birthday cake is one of my favorites.) Instead of trying to have lots of willpower when I’m surrounded by goodies at home all day, I’ve decided to get rid of it. This year, anytime we have extra candy, cookies, cake, etc. around the house, I ask my husband to take it to work. So far, that strategy is working well.
I also plan ahead. If I know that I’ll be indulging at a party this weekend, I’ll try to limit my sweets and make healthy food choices throughout the week. When I get to the party, I try not to go crazy. I think it’s important to enjoy the foods I love without feeling guilty. But that doesn’t mean I have to stuff myself, because that ends up leaving me feeling both physically and mentally yucky. I also try to recognize my “trigger” foods, and stay away from those completely. For instance, I love Tootsie Rolls and have trouble just eating a few. Once I get started, it’s hard to stop, so I know that’s a food I should just totally avoid.
Not sure how you’ll get through this holiday season? Check out SparkPeople’s Holiday Survival Guide, as well as 10 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain. If you do end up falling off track, try not to beat yourself up too much. We’ve all been there! All you can do is learn from your mistakes and move forward with the support of your SparkPeople friends!
What’s your plan of attack? Do you feel like you have the support you need to stay on track through the New Year?