The holidays are supposed to be fun – full of laughter, cheer, friends and family. But, sometimes no matter how hard we try to stay healthy, the combination of stress + too much food and alcohol leaves us feeling like garbage.
For most of us, the holiday parties have already begun and we have already had an evening (or two, or three…) of indulgence but this doesn’t mean we need to throw in the towel and wait for ‘a clean slate’ to begin eating healthy again in January. Here are 7 steps to avoid gaining weight during the holidays…starting now! We will also be announcing an exciting contest later today with holistic nutritionist Michelle Tirmandi, so stay tuned!
Adjust your Mindset.
When you add up the total number of holiday celebrations and compare that to the number of regular meals eaten during the week it usually ends up to be quite a small number. The problem arises when we shift to an ‘all in’ mindset and give up our regular healthy habits. Take the time to think about how you are approaching the holiday season and how you have done so in the past – has it worked out well for you? Maybe it’s time to re-adjust your thinking.
When you are indulging yourself with tasty treats and delectable cocktails this season take the time to truly enjoy it. Eat slowly and notice the flavours, textures and aromas. If you’re going to indulge, you may as well enjoy it! Eating slowly will also actually send signals to your brain that you are full so in the end you will actually end up eating less.
Be on the Defensive.
If you don’t want to feel crappy come the end of December, now today is the day to gain back the control! With holiday treats popping up everywhere you need to be prepared. Stock your desk and your purse with fruit, some nuts or a Lara Bar so you never feel so hungry that you end up binging on chocolate and treats.
Employ the “Eat Before you Go” Strategy
It seems counterintuitive to eat before going to a party or an event when you know there will be food served. But, eating before you go allows you the chance to be in control of what you are going to eat and usually you end up consuming less in the end. If you’re worried that others will notice – they won’t, the only person who really cares what you’re eating is you!
Be a Food Snob.
It sounds funny, but what it means is to be selective and choosy regarding what you put in your mouth. If you are eating just for the sake of eating – don’t. Choose only the foods that you love and enjoy. In situations where there are a ton of choices, decide to stick with 3 or 4 foods and eat enough to feel satisfied – no more, no less.
Find Moments for Workouts.
Feeling “too busy” or “too stressed” to fit in a workout? Chances are your workouts may shift to lower on your priority list this month, but remember – where there is a will there is a way. Keeping your body is shape doesn’t require hours at the gym – be conscious about making moments throughout the day for a workout. It doesn’t matter when or how, it just matters that you fit it in because it all adds up in the end.
Keep the Bevvy’s Boring.
Holiday fun often includes alcohol, but alcohol contains extra calories and no nutritional value. If you are going to drink up this holiday season stick to the basics – wine, beer and spirits mixed with water or soda. Skipping the sugar-laden cocktails, pop, juice and eggnog will not only save your waistline from expanding but it will also help with your impending hangover the next day.
Start a Food Diary
If you’re seriously interested in not gaining extra pounds over the holidays one of the simplest and most effective ways to do so is by starting a food journal. Writing down every morsel of food and beverage that passes your lips ensures that you are aware of what you’re eating. And, after reflecting upon the fact that you ate 5 cookies in one sitting will make you less likely to do it again next time…
And last but not least, remember to go easy on yourself. Life is too short to beat yourself up about eating too much during the holidays. Every day is a new chance and opportunity to give your body what it needs to thrive. Be thankful for the people around you during this holiday season!
If you do feel that you could use some support after the holidays and you’re interested in working with a nutritionist on a personalized nutrition program you’re in luck – during the month of January Michelle is offering two January 2015 Specials! Email Michelle directly at [email protected] using the subject line ‘January Special’. Both specials are available in person (downtown Toronto) or via Skype/phone.
Nutritional Wellness Single Session $99 (Regular $125)
Use this ‘pick my brain’ session to ask me anything you’d like about nutrition and health. We will discuss your food and lifestyle habits and you’ll walk away feeling confident about the specific steps to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
- 1.5 hr Nutritional Consultation
- Customized Lifestyle & Supplement Recommendations
Nutrition Lifestyle 3 Session Makeover Package $395 (Regular $500)
This transformational package is designed to give you the knowledge, education and tools to begin to implement a healthier lifestyle. We will work together over the course of several weeks to ensure you have the support you need to succeed. This plan includes a customized nutrition plan, sample meal plan and recipes.
- 1.5 hr Initial Consultation
- 2 x 30 Minute Follow Up Sessions
- 1 Month Unlimited Email Support
- Customized Lifestyle & Supplement Recommendations
*Student discounts are applicable
Michelle Tirmandi is a Toronto based Holistic Nutritionist who focuses on a real life approach to healthy eating. Find out more at michellenutrition.ca or visit her on Facebook Michelle Nutrition, Instagram @michellenutrition on Twitter @michytirmandi