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Yes it’s true. We are right around the corner from Thanksgiving which officially kicks off the holiday season. Where did this year go? Think about the holidays last year that started with the Thanksgiving dinner you created OR the dinner you were invited too. The table was loaded down with every family favorite recipe imaginable. Not only did you fill your plate once, you filled it a second time and ended up having to unbutton your jeans. After dinner, you sit down to watch the football game and before you know it, you fall asleep. When you wake up, it’s round two and you find you are eating again PLUS decide to have pumpkin pie and whipped cream. When you add in all the drinks, appetizers, and end of the night coffee, it was a pretty calorie heavy day. AND you probably feel terrible. You’ve been working so hard to eat clean, exercise and take care of your body that this one day of overeating truly does affect how you feel not only physically but emotionally too.
So you tell yourself, that’s it. You won’t over due it again like you did on Thanksgiving but before you even blink, the round of holiday parties begin. Cookies and candy at work from coworkers that love to bake. Drinks with friends in the evening. Dinner and parties every weekend right up to New Year’s Day. You probably feel like staying on track at this time of year is a lost cause. Wrong. You actually can stay on track with just a few rules and planning.
- Stay on track with eating five to six small meals each day. When you eat small, clean meals throughout the day it stops you from overeating because you are continually providing your body with the nutrition it needs. You are able to make better food choices when you are not starving.
- Never go to a party or event without eating. Take a moment to eat a small snack before heading out the door.
- Don’t over due it with cocktails. Overdoing the alcohol not only may affect your decision-making, it adds empty calories to your evening.
- Plan your meals. If you know you will be tempted to overeat at dinner, plan your snacks and meals in advance and see where you might be able to cut back a bit so you can enjoy the special evening.
- Having a hard time resisting that pecan pie? Take a moment and look up the calories on My Fitness Pal or other tracker. Just seeing that number (503 calories for one slice on My Fitness Pal) might prompt you to think about other options.
- Make the time to exercise even during the holidays. Yes it might be hard with family visiting or if you are traveling but taking just a few minutes during the day to take a walk, strength train or yoga will help you make better decisions during the day.
- Remember the 80/20 rule. Eating clean and staying on track for 80% of your meals allows you a little wiggle room (20%) to splurge.
- Watch your portions.
- Water. Water. Water. Many times we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day.
Making smart choices during the holidays will help you stay on track with your health and fitness. And most importantly? Don’t beat yourself up. Life is meant to be enjoyed. If you over do it one day, get right back on track the next day and keep moving forward.
To your health,
Denise Sanger is a high energy business owner with over 30 years experience in the marketing area. She has transitioned her love of fitness and marketing into helping others succeed in getting fit and running their own businesses. She founded How To Stay Fit Over 50 to provide hope and support to others by motivating them to take the first step in their fitness journey no matter what age. Email her at email@example.com.