So… we’ve made it to December in this very bizarre year. Whether you are planning to safely mingle with family and friends, or simply enjoy your Holidays with your immediate family tis the season to indulge!
If you have a favorite tradition that involves food, because you used to make a special Christmas cookie with your Mom or Grandmother, and this tradition grounds you every year, I would encourage you to keep the tradition. Just don’t eat the entire batch of cookies by yourself! Grounding yourself in traditions this season, more so than others in our history, may be just what you need to get through. If you are distancing to keep your loved ones safe and won’t get to spend time with them this season this can be particularly important. So, allow yourself the opportunity to do so … responsibly.
Some tips to help you through without feeling restricted and frustrated this season, are as follow:
1) Everything in moderation. Enjoy one cookie with milk or coffee. Don’t eat several. If they are small, indulge in a couple, but again, don’t break the sugar and calorie bank for the season, all in one sitting!
2) Incorporate more movement to burn off your additional calorie intake if you are eating more than usual this season. Take an additional walk each day. Stretch in the evenings while you are watching TV. Every bit of movement counts. (Yard work, house cleaning, laundry, etc).
3) Choose to partake in traditions that don’t involve food or high calorie beverages. Ration which traditions you want to indulge in and be satisfied with it as a representation of all of them that may involve food and beverages!
4) Incorporate more fruits and veggies to fill you up. This way when it comes time for a special dessert or high calorie drink, you won’t feel the need for more than one portion size.
5) Healthy fats and lean proteins also fill you up and help reduce sugar cravings.
6) Stick to healthy eating throughout the season and limit yourself to the indulgence for the actual days of the Christmas and New Years. This limits your intake considerably, but still reminds you of the traditions celebrated during the season.
You can see with these tips, it’s not restriction or avoidance, just balancing so you can actually enjoy a cookie or two while you celebrate the season.
I tend to practice this all year round. If I know I’m having a high carb dinner (i.e. pasta), I limit my intake of carbs during the day. I can fully enjoy dinner without thinking I’ve overdone it based on my total carb intake for the day. I also made a decision a while ago that I just don’t bake at the holiday’s anymore. It’s time consuming, and realistically, because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I won’t eat most of it. If you have a sweet tooth, it's another reason not to bake. If it's going to be too tempting, don't set yourself up for failure. This year has been hard enough! Find other traditions to engage in, like watching Holiday movies, gift giving, or create new ones that don’t revolve around food!
I hope you enjoy this season with peace and joy to end 2020.