Navigating Holiday Indulgences; Enjoy Fun Foods and Stay On Track

Here we are, the day after Thanksgiving; we came, we ate, and we filled out our stretchy pants. Excellent; I hope you enjoyed every bite!

The holiday season has begun-dinners out, holiday parties and happy hours may be filling your calendar, and possibly you’ll even continue celebrating this weekend (I’ll be having a second Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow night). 

I believe there is no more indulgent time of the year than the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. But those indulgences may come at a price if you’re working toward a specific health goal. 

I often waffle between knowing I need to stay on track and wanting to let go and have fun. Most of the time, I am able to compromise with myself and find ways to enjoy the occasions while staying true to my goals. Other times, however, I need to coach myself.

Success for me is

  • Protein with each meal
  • Plenty of vegetables with each meal
  • Drinking enough water
  • Eating whole food carbs (no processed foods)
  • Getting in daily movement

If I stick to this plan whether I’m eating at home, or out, I’m able to indulge without feeling guilty. I know I’m eating in a way that supports my goals and allows for the special treats that come with this seasonal territory. I also know I can’t indulge every day or at every meal. I practice balance and compromise. 

Enjoying special times with family and friends is important and so are your health and nutrition goals. It’s normal to veer off track occasionally, and the key is to refocus and continue working toward those goals. 

When you’re faced with invitations for holiday get-togethers, spontaneous dinner plans, or lunch dates, here are some things you can do to enjoy it all while staying on track. Planning ahead is key; if you know you’ll be going out for dinner, or attending a party, you can front-load your day with nutritionally dense foods making room for some fun foods later.

Appreciate the moments and everything that comes with them: the delicious foods, the cocktails and wine, the indulgent treats. Enjoy them all without guilt by being intentional and mindful, enjoying each bite, each sip. One day of indulgence won’t derail your progress, in fact, it’s part of this learning process. Have too much? Just get back on track the next day!

Start each day with a nutrient-packed breakfast and stay hydrated throughout the day. Include fiber-rich foods and lean proteins to balance out the indulgent meal you had, or will have later in the day. 

To avoid overeating, be mindful of portion sizes and stay connected to your hunger and fullness cues when indulging. You can have it all, just not all at once! 

Maintain your physical activity, especially on the weekends when you may have more time; go for a walk, take that class, and just keep moving as much as you can. 

Create a support system of people who share similar goals. Friends, family, or a community of people who you can share your goals with and who will offer accountability and motivation.

This season doesn’t have to derail you from reaching your goals. The holiday season is about joy, connection, and balance. This is a great time to practice having a positive mindset and focus on progress over perfection. 

If you have any questions on how you might learn how to navigate this time yourself, let me know. Sign up for a discovery call and we’ll talk about your goals and come up with some easy actions you can implement immediately!