We’re officially in full stride in holiday season, and you know what that means — plenty of indulgence in the tasty, comforting, and festive, traditional treats that make up the time of year! With so many tempting dishes, platters, and decadent desserts at the various dinners, work parties, and family gatherings (along with Friendsgiving, of course!), how can we make sure to enjoy a balance, without going overboard? Well, we’re outlining how we think you can stay well-fed, fit, and fierce, during the feast of a holiday season, and into the new year!
De-stress (at least try to)!
Holiday time can be even more stressful than the rest of the year — managing schedules, planning meals and recipes, deciding on who to invite, making a list of gifts to get (last minute, of course!), and everything in-between. And what’s a typical go-to solution for getting rid of stress? Food! We turn to food for lots of things — comfort, joy, and de-stressing! According to Mayo Clinic, “Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. Major life events or, more commonly, the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your weight-loss efforts.” When we overdo the emotional eating, it can have a negative affect on our overall well-being. Thankfully, there are ways to counter the emotional practice, and that includes things like stress management (yoga or meditation), turning to healthier snacks when you do feel an urge to feed your stress, and keeping a food diary, so that you can track your poor eating habits during a time that’s more stressful for you.
Eat before you arrive at the feasts and drink water.
If you know you have a weakness for overeating and indulging in foods that are unhealthy, you can also curb the temptation before you are surrounded by triggers. Invited to a holiday dinner (or 5!)? Go ahead and enjoy a quick, healthy snack or meal before you head out — and don’t feel guilty about it! You can always eat something light, so that you aren’t tempted to eat any and everything on the host’s fantastic spread. In addition, drinking water is another way to fend off (bad) food cravings. Since cravings for the wrong foods can be a sign of dehydration, drinking water can help you avoid these poor habits. Staying hydrated is a good test to see if you are, indeed, in need of extra nourishment, or if you’re simply in need of some H20!
Allow yourself to have a little something, if even just a taste.
We get it, the slippery sweet-tooth slope began just after summer, and started to become a force to be reckoned with, once Halloween hit. How are we supposed to get through the holidays without indulging, when delicious food, endless snacks, and satisfying sweets are everywhere we look? The answer may be as simple as practicing moderation. Instead of an entire slice of cake, for example, why not opt for a smaller sliver? Reducing your amount of sugar intake is that simple.
Try a low-to-no-alcohol celebration.
Regular consumption of alcohol is known to contribute to weight gain (among other things). During the holidays, access to alcohol is everywhere — (spiked) eggnog with coworkers, cocktails with your core circle, and even a hot toddy when you’re under the weather. If you’re looking to cut down on drinking, why not try changing things up this year? Excessive drinking (for example, more than two glasses of wine each night) can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Studies have shown that when alcohol is in your system, it’s more difficult for your body to burn fat. In addition to the calories in alcoholic beverages, their ability to release inhibitions create a space for overindulging in the foods you would normally avoid. If you’re hosting a gathering, instead of loading the bar up with alcohol, try going the low-to-no-alcohol route — flat, fruit-infused or sparkling waters are great alternatives!
Don’t beat yourself up if you do go overboard.
The holidays can be the most challenging time to decide on starting a new diet (or lifestyle), so kudos to you for even trying! At the end of the day (and calendar year), the holidays are a time for celebration, fellowship, and just really appreciating the special people and things you have in your life. Beating yourself up may only make you spiral into the stressful feelings we just finished unloading for you! One way to look at it? If you find yourself being too self-critical for failing to cut back on overindulging, give yourself a break — take this time to focus on the things you’re thankful for, look forward, and redirect your goals for the new year!
As we gather for the Thanksgiving holiday, and the holiday season through the end of the year, it really is a time to not only reflect on how we are treating our health — mind, body, soul — but a time to reflect on the things we are thankful for, in general. We rallied our staff and asked the timely question, “What are you thankful for?” Here’s what they had to say:
“I'm thankful for the little moments in-between my busy day with my daughter. Inside jokes and all, she always brings a smile to my face. I'm [also] thankful for my body, its ability to heal, and that it allows me to do the things I enjoy — most of all, dance!” — Susie
“I’m thankful for the internet.” — Dan
“I'm thankful for the California weather. Catch me lounging poolside all through November!” - Alex
“I'm thankful for my three-legged dog Selena and how she dances for me every time I come home and makes me laugh.” - Nicole
“Overall, my family & friends. No matter what situation you go through — whether it is good or bad — it’s nice to be able to go home and have someone to talk to. The advice/suggestions that family & friends can offer help make any situation better, based on how well they know you. Forever grateful. ♥️” - Rocio
“I’m thankful for my loved ones, both family and friends. I’m thankful for new opportunities, life lessons learned, and personal growth!” - Jen
“I am thankful for my loving family, friends who have become family, & for all the things in-between that we can sometimes take for granted. Also, online shopping.” - Michelle
What are some of the things you are grateful for? Give us a follow on the 'gram @ellieactivewear and let us know in the comments!