The holidays don’t have to be a loosing battle for you or your waistline. I whole-heartedly believe in enjoying life. Feeling stuffed and bummed is not fun. Find your happy, healthy balance with these 10 tips to eat smart, enjoy yourself, and remove triggers for reaching for that extra hors d'oeuvre or cookie.
1. Drink lots of water.
Aim for at least half your body weight in ounces a day. This will fill you up and make you feel amazing. Try getting a water bottle and keeping it with you.
2. Focus on the most filling foods for the calories.
Meat and vegetables are highly nutritious and filling, while stuffing probably makes you hungry in a few hours and sugar makes you crave more sugar.
3. Indulge in real treats.
Just because Aunt Jo’s fruitcake is there doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Go for your favorite food, say really good cheese, and skip the rest.
4. Keep exercising and wearing fitted clothes.
Being aware of changes in your body helps you stay in balance.
Lack of sleep can cause you to reach for more energy or food.
6. Hug people.
Hugging releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone, and makes you feel good. Many people eat when they want to feel warm, connected and loved.
7. Be playful.
Go sledding, take a walk outside, or throw a theme party. The happier and more active you are, the less time you have to reach for food.
8. Honor your feelings.
Holidays are a tough time for many. Spending time with people we rarely see and family members can bring up comparisons, frustrations and judgments to name a few. Instead of trying to push these feelings away, which never works, accept them. This will calm you, release the intensity of the feeling and open up another perspective.
9. Satisfy your emotional cravings first.
Often what we really want is not fries but to feel happy, light, loved, or grounded. Instead of reaching for food, stop and figure out how to satisfy the real craving. It could be through a good conversation, a run, or getting stuff done. Watch your cravings melt.
10. Put yourself first.
Radical maybe, but it's actually the kindest thing you can do for others. When you focus on your needs, you're more honest, energized and resilient. Believe it or not, people respect this more. Remember the awkward feeling of being offered something over the top? Plus, doing or saying something that is not in your best interest will only result in frustration, which others will feel, and for many leads to overeating.
You may be wondering why more than half of these are non-food related. In my experience helping people find the right fit in nutrition and life, over half of the reasons we eat have nothing to do with true hunger.