It’s official. The Christmas season is here!
Starting this week health conscious people everywhere are bracing themselves for days of parties, feasts and festivities.
It can be overwhelming.
The Doc’s #1 philosophy is that everything in moderation so you don’t need to restrict yourself from things you enjoy. It can be helpful to enter the holidays with a plan to keep your healthy life style on track.
First step: Don’t panic!
The holidays are challenging for everyone on the eating front, and self-compassion goes a long way toward letting you come out healthy and happy on the other side.
Don’t let one or two frustrating events spoil the entire season.
Second step: Anticipate obstacles
Executing your plan to eat healthy over the festive season may be easier said than done. For instance, buffet-style meals can be particularly challenging for many people, as there are no clear boundaries to stop you from overeating.
Do you skimp too much on dinner then lose it at the dessert table?
Try to anticipate these obstacles and set up an alternative course of action.
The Doc recommends committing beforehand to only eating one (satisfying) plate of food.
When it is time to serve yourself, examine the entire table of options before making your decisions, then choose the tastiest items you can find that are as healthy as possible. Once you’ve made your selections, eat them slowly and mindfully.
Setting up a plan before events can help you from having to make decisions in the heat of the moment and reduces your reliance on willpower.
Third step: Learn from your slip ups
A few small slip-ups, isn’t the end of the world and shouldn’t de-rail your long efforts to reaching your weight and health goals.
Instead of skipping your workout and indulging on ice cream in the bathtub to console yourself, ask yourself what you could have done differently to prevent it.
As you build your holiday hacking skills you are certain to experience many successes and many setbacks. This is the only way to make long-term progress to reaching your goals.
Your strategies will need to adapt to the changing times especially during the festive season, but the lessons you learn each year will stay with you.
Take the long view to get the most joy and the most health out of every holiday season.