You want to be able to survive these next 2 months’ social engagements (no matter what your celebrate) to help you keep moving towards your health goals. Remember, you have worked hard, whether it has been all year long, just a few months or maybe you just made the commitment to achieve optimal health, but the key is you've made the fundamental choice to live a healthier life.
This is a great time of the year, it is important to focus on the reason for gathering, and that is to spend time with loved ones, family and friends. Many social gatherings are centered around food. This can be frustrating, scary and extremely tempting when attending a party or celebration.
Here are a few tips you can use when you are attending parties and giving gifts:
- Don’t go hungry-try eating a healthy snack prior to arriving at the party. This will help curb your appetite.
- If you are invited to a party, which happens to be a potluck, this is a great opportunity to bring a healthy meal
- When you arrive at the party-and you want to partake or try food, use the smallest plate with healthy choices.
- Be mindful of your healthy choices, fresh vegetables, lean proteins and salad.
- Limit or skip foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value.
What happens when you are the host/hostess? There are many tempting opportunities to “graze” when packing up leftovers. Divide left overs into quick healthy meals. Allow someone else to pack up the left overs and you offer to wash the dishes.
Here's a couple other quick tips to help you thrive this holiday season:
- Develop a Plan of Action for Surviving an Event: Identify your personal barriers and strategy, write it down.
- Take time for yourself!! This is a very busy time to the year for people, take time to exercise and keep your body moving. Just taking a walk can give you that alone time you need to get your body moving and regroup.
- In advance ask your family and friends to forgo food gifts. Examples: wine, cheese, candies. Other suggestions would be donations in your name to charities, gift cards or opting out of gifts. You may say this year, let’s get together and start.
When going to the Mall:
- Dress Comfortably
- Don’t go hungry
- Stay Hydrated! Bring some bottled water
- Bring along sugar-free chewing gum, cut up celery sticks or another healthy snack option.
- Keep your mouth busy and chew away frustration without hindering your weight loss efforts.
- Wear a pedometer and keep track of your steps
- Exercise while waiting in line. Ex: Calf raises
- Mall food courts can have healthy options, but the question is… WHAT food should you choose?Focus on grilled, broiled, baked or steamed protein and non-starchy vegetables. Avoid those that are piled high with high fat meats and cheeses or that have a lot of extras such as croutons, crispy noodles, and/or high calorie dressings.
- Drink plenty of water as well as other zero-calorie beverages (such as diet soda, or unsweetened iced tea).
- Just say “no thank you”. Avoid the food court.
Remember, optimal health is a journey. If you slip up with an occasional treat, this will not ruin your chances of long term success. Keep a positive attitude, this goes a long way. Develop a plan, write down your feelings, goals and your barriers. Read it from time to time. This may be just what you need to get you through the season.