During my journey to living The Simple Life, and helping a lot of people reach their goals in this area that the below 5 Simple Life Healthy Lifestyle Plan Principles are incredibly important. In this post I'll share the 5 principles and break them down so you can use them every day.
This is the time of year when most people lose their battle with sweets, and numerous other unhealthy tasty holiday treats. For most of us, Halloween is the official kickoff for the holiday season bad eating frenzy! For two plus months we are bombarded by sweet treats, alcoholic drinks, office and family party’s and just flat out good old fashioned American gluttony. So what can you do during the holidays to avoid holiday season weight gain and stay on track with your health goals?
You could just stay home and crawl into the corner with your blankie and dream of candy corn and pecan pies, but let’s face that’s no fun at all. You could also go to all the events, but just not eat any of the tempting holiday gut busters. Again that doesn’t seem reasonable or fun to me. For those of you who are familiar with my philosophy and The Simple Life website and books, living like a food monk is not something I’m a fan of, but making better choices and balancing health with eating the bad things you like from time to time. With that being said, let’s take a look at some strategies you can deploy in your battle of the holiday bulge.
1. Eat a healthy meal before you go to any holiday events, I have used this technique several times. The worst thing you can do is go to one of these events hungry, trust me I have done it and it isn’t pretty.
2. Use those good old negotiating skills, and make a deal with your kids, and other family members that everyone gets to eat a couple pieces of Halloween candy once a week until it is gone. More than likely the most desired pieces (yummm… candy corn and milk duds!) of candy will be taken first, and they will soon forget about the not so popular Halloween remnants (apple anyone). Also make it a special event and you might even be able to make it your cheat meal for those of you who prescribe to my once a week cheat meal technique. Maybe use Friday night as the time to celebrate with a couple pieces of candy.
3. Make a protein shake, and consume it just before you go to a holiday event. Not only is it a good healthy choice, but it will keep you full and make it easier to resist some of the bad food choices calling your name.
4. If it just isn’t possible to eat before you attend a holiday party, before you eat drink about 20 -24 oz of water. This will help fill your stomach, and you will be far less likely to overeat. You could even add a little soluble fiber, and I guarantee you will look at those holiday cheats with less enthusiasm. This sounds overly simple, but it works like a charm! Plus getting a little more hydration never hurts.
5. Incorporate your cheat meal for the week into the parties or family events you will attend. This way you will not be cheating more than once in a week if possible, and keep you more on track with your usual eating routine.
6. Go Primal early into the event. Eat high protein and healthy fat selections at the party before you eat anything else, and your appetite will quickly be curbed. Remember the Primal diet is one that is satisfying and filling.
7. Don’t stress out about what you will eat during the holidays and go have some fun (just don’t tell your boss they suck after a couple drinks at the company party!). If you stress out you will release additional cortisol, which is a weight gaining stress hormone. I’m pretty sure the world will not end, or you will gain 50 pounds overnight if you cheat a little more than usual.
8. Stick with your usual exercise schedule, as best you can. Many people just flat out give up during the holidays and stop working out. Once you start stuffing yourself with junk it is hard enough to get motivated, stop working out, and you now have the perfect storm for quick weight gain.
9. Make sure to get some exercise on the days you will be attending holiday parties or events, and through in a little extra cardio. This will keep your metabolism humming along, assuring you will metabolize some of those bad foods better than if you didn’t exercise at all.
10. Pick one party during the holidays and just go for it! Don’t worry or stress about anything you are eating. This will help keep you sane and not feel frustrated about enjoying yourself during the holidays. One night of gluttony is usually enough pain to damper my spirit for those bad foods for the remainder of the season. My favorite day to let loose is Thanksgiving, I eat myself into a coma, and it is well worth it. Trust me, I want nothing to do with eating like that for a while, because I just flat our feel like crap the next day or so.
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