Holiday Tips that ACTUALLY work.

This time a year there are a lot of blogs/ideas floating around for how to help you with holiday parties and weight gain etc.  I often find it hard to take the advice because I don't find it realistic, or even desirable!  I thought I would share with you today what I do during the holidays to keep on track with my fitness and nutrition, and keep my clothes fitting just right.

1.  Visualize your holiday experience.  I know for me I have started to visualize my plan for alcohol.  Wine spritzers (soda water, wine, lemon and limes) will be my go to, not only because I love wine, and spritzers cutting calories, but because I don't want to be getting as tipsy as usual!!  If someone offers me something alternative to drink, I will decide at the moment- will I feel guilty about it later?  Is it actually going to be that tasty?  Is it only tempting because someone is offering it to me?  And I make the right decision in the moment, and enjoy the drink if I take it.  By setting myself up with a plan in advance doesn't mean I need to be some crazy person on some special diet, but it gives structure and takes a little stress out of the 'let's go hog wild' christmas mentality.  It also wouldn't be realistic for me to say I completely won't drink alcohol, and therefore I won't set that as a goal.

2.  In terms of food, I find it helps to remind myself that all of the foods we have at Christmas, are around all year if I want them.  What has happened to me in years past is I restrict my food, and get very restrictive in December, so by the time Christmas comes I can't get my hands off those sweets!  But by having all types of food in moderation as the year goes on I am able to look at the trays and trays of treats at Christmas and make a decision THAT DAY.  I don't need to go crazy because I fear I can't eat anything as delicious again!

3.  Take time for myself to control stress and anxiety.  This is a HUGE one for me.  I live in Vancouver quite a distance from my family and generally do my own thing on a day to day basis.  When I fly home for christmas it's adjusting back to an old environment, socializing 24/7, catching up with people I haven't seen in forever.  It is all a ton of fun!  But what happens for me is I forget to take a few minutes a day to breathe, meditate, relax, reflect, vocalize some of the anxious thoughts running through my head.  When I don't do these things I usually end up emotional eating, having an acne flare up, or feeling exhausted!  Therefore this year my plan is to schedule that time in for myself so I can stay happy and present for my family!

4.  Stay active.  Activity is never an issue for me, I love doing it!  So I never miss it even over holidays.  It gives me time to get a great sweat on, take out some stress, feel reenergized and great about myself and my body.  I always make 'dates' with friends when I am home to hit the gym and then go out for a dinner or drinks after. Most of my friends like to stay active and by inviting them along it's a lot more fun.  Try asking your friends and family.  I am sure there are many people in your life who would love to come for a winter walk, or perhaps even taking them to the gym to show them the exercises you have been up to and teaching them a few things?  Whatever you do, try to move your body as much as possible during the holidays.  I enjoy helping out with a lot of house cleaning wherever i am, or helping with cooking.  Rather than sitting around with drinks this keeps me moving, and I am sure people appreciate it!  Every bit counts.

5.  Have a game plan to deal with your issues.  This pretty much ties into #3.  We all now being around friends and family can bring up some hidden issues.  It might not be the best idea to hash out the problems over christmas dinner, so spend the next month or so digging deep into yourself to try to eliminate some of that negative energy you may bring to the holidays.  By showing up full of joy, energy, and happiness it is less likely you will pig out on food, over drink, screw the gym, etc.

These are my 5 tips.  They may make no sense to you.  You will notice I never once said "stick to white meat, stay away from the dinner rolls, give away all the chocolate you are gifted".  This to me isn't reasonable, isn't sustainable, and would drive me crazy.  So go in with a sense of moderation, remind yourself you are a health conscious person, and make decisions over the holiday's – and leave the guilt behind!!!

Need more tips?  Let's chat katherine@optimal-health-coaching.com

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