How to Avoid Overeating This Christmas

Hello Lovely :)

It’s a rainy Wednesday on my side of the world, but I am enjoying it none the less. I’m finishing off a little protein and some pre-workout pretzels (cause DIETS don’t jive with me)

on-a-diet A little perspective helps ;)

As I’m doing my daily thing, I am reminded of the plague that can entrench all of us this time of year: overeating. It seems to be the bane of our existence on this side of the world (and in other well developed countries), and I get the HOW-TO question with every major holiday.

So, as an early Christmas present to YOU I present my top tips to avoid overeating:

1. Stop overdoing. This may seem odd, but most of our overeating comes from a severely packed schedule. We over commit, rush ourselves and our families from place to place, and leave precious little time for anything other than shopping, errands, cards and wrapping. In my personal opinion that very thing can skew our perception of Christmas altogether and leave us empty and wanting. Now, we are hungry, tired, emotionally drawn out and vulnerable to poor food decisions. The FIX: monitor your time and give yourself permission to not do EVERYTHING. My friend Pamela wrote a fantastic article to help you out here.

stress-free-christmas

2. Make some time to MOVE…..but don’t set crazy expectations. Getting 30 minutes of movement in each day will help to lower cortisol, level blood sugar and improve your outlook on life BUT it needs to be something you enjoy and something that makes you feel good. If your particular brand of workout is more like punishment, then your stress hormones will actually shift into overdrive and you’ll be more likely to over consume the sweets.

3. Realize some treats are OK and expected. Don’t take a one way trip to overindulgence by setting the NO SUGAR standard for the Christmas season. Be realistic and know that there are some treats that you will allow yourself to ENJOY <<<<<<<< the key word there. No guilt, no stress, no punishment.

harry potter sugar Don’t be that person…….

4. Make some alternatives. If you’re in the market for baking goodies or making treats this Christmas, try creating healthier version of the same thing. I adore Lori Harder and she has some awesome Holiday menu items that keep the flavor but in a healthier version. This way you can indulge and enjoy, guilt free.

lori harder

5. Try a little damage control up front. My personal favorite tips are to make sure you get enough protein in the tank, so focus on the turkey OR consider having a whole foods protein shake before a party or get together. Also, I love starting each day with a super simple green shake that packs a serious nutritional punch. I take 8 oz coconut water, 2 oz aloe, a couple handfuls of mixed greens, 1/2 a lemon (juice), 1/2 cucumber and a touch of honey. This sets you up for success first thing.

6. Final thing here, so hang with me! Try to avoid an ONGOING intake of trigger foods. The best way to do this is to not allow it in the house OR use my personal fave and don’t open the bag until Christmas! Treats are cool, but mindless eating doesn’t help anybody. Sugar tends to trigger cravings for more sugar, so try to plan ahead when you know you will indulge.  A great way to squash the sugar bug is with herbal teas. You can try any variety you like, but I prefer peppermint or chocolate hazelnut tea to give my sweet tooth a break.

Christmas sweet tooth

With those tips you should be able to enjoy your Christmas festivities without the ever looming guilt some carry around this time of year. Food should NEVER have that effect on you. Remember, there’s nothing you can do in one day, one week, or even a season that can derail you for good.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!!!!!

Michelle

Carlson-7825

 

 

Enjoy the Season

Healthy Holidays to all out there!

What do you do to enjoy this time of year?

Do you have family traditions?

In our family, we have managed to keep some of the old and create some new ones along the way.

We buy fresh trees each year, and each year I vow to get a fake one for next year. :) Hey, traditions are important!

I bake goodies for those who surround us all year long: the mail man, the garbage men, our neighbors, our church staff, the staff at our bank, the UPS guys (they frequent this house), etc. Now, my kids are old enough to lend a helping hand in the baking process and particularly enjoy working in the quality control department.

Each year brings about shopping, time spent with family, Christmas pageants, looking at Christmas lights, decorating the tree and reading stories. We also spend loads of time watching Christmas movies and we exchange the gift of brand new pajamas each Christmas Eve (thank mom and dad!).

All of these are wonderful traditions, but for some, Christmas is not always a time of joy.

Many have suffered loss this year and mourn as Christmas approaches. I can relate and may I offer a heartfelt virtual hug and the knowledge that the days will get easier and joy will begin to come back.

Others find financial straits to be holding them back from joy this year. Remember that the true joy of Christmas is found in the heart, not the pocket book. To those who have been blessed with more, I encourage you to seek out those who could use some love and a hot meal…then provide those needs.

Some simply suffer from not feeling good enough. Perhaps you feel as though you just take up space. You are still here for a reason and you can find it through the ones you surround yourself with everyday.

Now, there are those of us who experience anxiety as Christmas approaches. We know the New Year is close at hand and that we have yet to tackle last years resolutions. Or perhaps we dread the “morning after” feeling of over-indulging at parties. And to those, I truly relate :) So I hope to offer a few bits of healthy advice to make the season more joyful.

  • The average weight gain during the holidays is actually 3 pounds. Why do I tell you that? The perceived weight gain for most is over 10 pounds. It takes a lot of fudge and sugar cookies to gain 10 pounds, so relax. You’re going to be fine.
  • Movement ALWAYS helps…so long as it’s fun. Let’s face it, if it is not your “JOB” to be fit then it is hard to get your workouts in during this busy season. Did you know stressing about working out will actually pack on pounds, not burn calories? So chill out! Move a little every day. Walk to the store from the farthest parking space, take the stairs, stretch when you get out of bed, do a little jump rope in the bathroom at work, whatever! It all adds up and is good for overall mood boosting.
  • Limit the alcohol, up the water. I love some good wine at Christmas! It just makes everything more magical right? LOL However, it can wreak havoc on your health and overall mood. So set a limit before you indulge and make sure you drink a glass of water for every glass of Cabernet (or whatever you may choose).
  • Take a time out. You may actually need that 30 minute nap you’re craving. Perhaps your body would prefer a slow walk over a run. Choose this time of year to nurture your body as opposed to punishing it.

Through it all, remember that you are your best self when you take care of yourself. So be gentle, be kind and enjoy.

Merry Christmas!

Michelle

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