dieting through the holidays

Have Your Cake (or Pie) and Feel Good Too

The holidays can be a time of joy and excitement at the prospect of seeing friends and family and enjoying seasonal traditions, but it can also be a time of stress and anxiety when it comes to navigating the dinner table.

For individuals focused on improving their health and fitness, it can be very challenging to figure out how to enjoy your favorite foods without overindulging and sabotaging your goals. While I have provided healthy swaps for traditional holiday foods in the past to help people stay on track, my message for this holiday season is a little bit different. This year, I just want you to remember one thing before we enter the upcoming holidays:

One day of overindulging will not ruin weeks or months of careful dieting and exercise. One week, on the other hand, might.

If you have a goal you are working towards that is very important to you, such as getting in shape for a wedding, getting off blood pressure medication, or running a half-marathon, it’s natural to feel like a holiday party or get together may be a threat to reaching your goal. However, it’s important to remember that no matter what your goal is and how long it will take you to get there, you still should be able to enjoy life!

One Day Only

Many of our favorite foods that we enjoy at Thanksgiving and Christmas are not things we would normally keep around the house (like sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, stuffing, etc.).

Therefore, I encourage you to enjoy these foods on that special day and not to worry if your food intake fits your macronutrient or calorie goals. The key word in that last sentence though is DAY!

Where most people end up back sliding on their progress is when they allow an indulgence at one holiday to span an entire week or more after the celebration. It’s important to get back to your regular meal plan the next day so you can ensure you continue to make progress.

If that means refusing certain leftovers or taking only a small amount to avoid temptation, then do that. The key is to allow yourself some flexibility without throwing in the dietary towel completely during the holidays.

Many of my clients struggle with allowing themselves to indulge in certain foods without feeling guilty or ashamed. If you feel you struggle with this too, please feel free to send me an e-mail or leave me a private message on the Contact page.

Healthy eating is not black and white, and you can enjoy your favorite foods in moderation without binging on them. The key is reframing your thinking about food and what it truly means to be healthy.

Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful holiday season!

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