For some, the idea of holiday treats and feasts is a source of stress and anxiety. After all, you’ve spent the year working hard to reach your goals and live a healthy lifestyle, and this festive time is testing your will. But this year we encourage you to find a way to have it all — good health, a healthy weight and enjoyment in all the holidays have to offer!
Figuring out how to balance your nutrition is a challenge, but here are some ideas to keep your health and wellbeing in check:
Find a balance between health and enjoyment
There’s no denying that eating a healthy diet is important, but so is enjoying your food and being flexible in your relationship with it. Eating only for taste with little consideration for health can lead to obvious health issues, but a diet based strictly on healthy choices can also set you up for failure for not sticking to your perfect plan. Not to mention, avoiding a glass of wine or delicious treat over the holidays can leave you feeling left out — and treating your mental wellness is an important part of your balance!
Focus on the big picture, not the details
Look at your diet as a whole instead of stressing over every food choice. One bad food choice doesn’t make a bad diet — enjoying Christmas dinner isn’t going to add five pounds or reset the healthy work you’ve achieved. It doesn’t matter what you eat in December, it matters what you eat January to November. We know there are more holidays and special events throughout the year to consider, but the idea is that you eat well and exercise most weeks so that you can fully enjoy these special moments without guilt or anxiety.
Think positively about food
You can create a negative relationship with food by focusing on what you “can” and “can’t” have instead of eating the foods you want in moderation. Denying yourself something that you love or limiting your participation in a festive meal will only make you resentful and less apt to succeed in your healthy lifestyle. There’s a good chance you will come back to the foods that make you feel good physically and mentally in the long run. You don’t need to eliminate the things that make you happy, just know that those rewards are temporary and healthier choices are what fuel your health and happiness overall.
Between various obligations, spending money and trying to keep track of your healthy routines, the holidays can be a stressful time. Don’t overthink your food choices and exercise routine over the next few weeks and save yourself from unneeded stress. Eat well and remember to enjoy your food! Straying from your healthy diet, especially during the holidays, is normal and okay. Diets are about rules, healthy eating is about balance!