You might catch yourself with the following toxic thoughts: ‘It is the holidays… I can spoil myself a little bit… I will just ditch the calorie worrying for now and pick it up after the holidays’ Right? Wrong! Yes, it is true that the holidays is your time for some peace of mind. But do not start off defeated. When you sit for breakfast try and choose the healthy option. Can’t do it? That is fine. Try again at lunch. But do not automatically go for the most unhealthy junky Christmas food, just because it is ‘that season’…
Be careful with ‘decoration snacks’
This is particularly important if you spend the holidays with family, where both Christmas decoration and Christmas food are a significant part of the Christmas spirit. You will find gingerbread houses, gingerbread men, Santa- and present- shaped cookies lying around the house, and all around the table. Let them serve their decorative purpose and keep your hands out. It is a trap. Do not fall in it!
With all the snacks around you will probably want to taste everything! And you better do it. Running around hungry, obsessed with the thoughts of those cookies on the counter, and constantly restricting yourself will not do anyone good. It will make you angry and unhappy. Just make sure you taste rather than binge. If you can, put everything you want to try on one plate, so you do not lose count of the amounts you are stuffing your face with.
Do not forget your 5 a day
Find some time and energy to put a couple fruits and vegetables in your body. It is low calorie food, it will keep you feel fuller for longer, and the fiber will help your body digest the rest of the food.
Winter loves tea
Drinks are the easiest to lose track of. Healthy-conscious people would usually avoid fizzy drinks already, but the calories in freshly squeezed orange juice or even smoothies may shock you. Be particularly careful with alcohol. Not only does it contain a lot of calories, but it also fogs your judgment. After a couple of drinks at dinner, you may become a little too excited about dessert. Alcohol dehydrates you and makes more interested in food the day after. Why don’t you a good cup of tea instead? Tea calms you down, warms you up, and keeps you happy.
In fact, water is a great idea
Get yourself a fancy water cup or bottle and commit to it. Make it your best friend. Take it anywhere you go. Your mind sometimes mistakes thirst for hunger and makes you munch on snacks when you just need to wet your tongue. Drinking a big cup of water thirty minutes before a big meal will help you make more rational decisions, because you will not be feeling that big pit in your stomach. Portion control, you will find, will be way easier.
Keep yourself busy
Eating out of stress or boredom is quite common during the holidays. Preparing is exhausting - cooking, decorating, wrapping presents… once you are done it leaves a hole in your daily schedule and gives you an itchy feeling of extra energy. This often leads to nervous snacking. You have to remember to keep busy. Engage in some DIY craft. Knit. Read a book! Or the best suggestion of all – talk to your friends and family. The holidays are the best time to do that call you have been postponing for a while now. Call anyone you care about and ask them how they are. It will enrich your holiday experience and keep you from trouble.
Keep your behind off the sofa
That’s right. Sitting still makes you munch. Standing up and walking around keeps your eyes off that enticing plate of biscuits. Moving makes progress towards burning your holiday calories. If you are brave enough, you may even want to engage in a walk. The holiday season is perfect for a stroll around the neighborhood. You will greatly enjoy the decorations, and, if you are lucky, the snowy version of the surrounding buildings you otherwise know so well. Maybe grab a thermos with warm lemony tea before you go, to keep you warm. And head out.
Cut yourself some slack and ditch guilt
Rule number one when you want to kick a bad habit is ‘Never surrender’. If your goal is to stay away from temptations whatsoever, any deviation from the rule will be a failure. It will make you feel bad about yourself, it will stress you out and it will mean you can now eat whatever you want – you failed already anyway. So readjust your mindset. Pick your battles. Try for healthy, and if you fail once, just try again your next meal.
Probiotics. The holiday life hack.
Here is a fact you had probably not factored in, until now. By the time the dead of winter comes along, chances are you have already fallen victim to a couple of viruses. You might have had medication, hostile to the good bacteria in your gut. Fresh fruit and vegetables are not easy to come by. And your stomach is not in a good condition. It is not just the overeating. Your body is not in its best shape. Assaulting it with food in that state is really not doing you a favor.
So, is there anything you can do to up your gut game?
Yes. A probiotic, with multiple good bacteria strains can be your Christmas miracle. Boosting your digestion will unclog your energy flow and will leave you feeling free, happy and excited.
A probiotic with as much as ten different bacteria strains, and enriched with enzymes, such as Deca-flora, will contribute immensely to your mood and energy levels during the holidays. It will help you go back into shape for a beautiful beginning of the new year.