Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness articles for busy women who want to lead a healthy, fulfilled life they love.
Welcome to the season of eating!
When you’re committed to living a healthy lifestyle for the long-term, the last couple months of the year can be some of the most challenging. I like to refer to the space between Halloween and January 1 as “the season of eating” because . . . well, it’s obvious, right?
This time of year is chock full of opportunities (I prefer to call them opportunities rather than obligations for the sake of staying positive 🙂) to socialize, celebrate, and--yes--eat, drink, and be merry with your friends and family. If we aren’t careful, it’s wayyyy too easy to wake up on January 1 with the sinking realization that we’ve been seriously neglecting our healthy habits for months on end.
For those of us who choose to live intentionally healthier lives, this can be a time when we either go off the rails or double down a little too hard and make ourselves miserable. We can easily become totally obsessed or totally neglectful with our food choices.
Here’s the thing though: Staying healthy this time of year is about more than food.
Yes, your nutrition plays a key role in keeping you feeling healthy and energized throughout the holiday season, but my biggest healthy holiday tip actually has more to do with your mindset than what’s on your plate. (I swear we’re not about to get super woo woo. Stick with me.)
Living a healthy lifestyle is all about flexibility and making choices that fit our personal goals. All year round, we talk about using our motivations and our goals to fuel our nutritional choices; the same rules apply when we talk about our holiday eating strategies.
Remember why your health is important to you. Remember whatever it is that gets you to the gym in the morning. Think back to the very beginning of your healthy journey, and reflect on the really important things in your life that make every single healthy choice worth it. Then, make your holiday eating choices with all that in mind.
You might be wondering why this matters. It matters because you cannot make health decisions from a basis of fear.
If you choose not to eat a second piece of iced gingerbread because you’re terrified of gaining a couple pounds, you’ll almost certainly feel a bit resentful, bitter, or like you missed out on something. And while you might feel some surge of immediate pride at exercising your willpower, those negative motivations are far more likely to lead to binging and overeating later on.
However, if you approach that same choice as an opportunity to make a decision that will benefit your long-term goals and your big WHY, you’re far more likely to feel good about skipping the cookie. You’ll be able to more clearly see this would-be deprivation as just a single moment in a long string of moments that will ultimately help you achieve your goals.
This means you’re welcome to enjoy some of your favorite holiday treats—everything in moderation! I simply hope you’ll use this mindset shift to make all-around better choices this season, and—perhaps more importantly—to feel confident, intentional, and positive about whatever choices you do make.
Do you have any holiday eating strategies that you find especially helpful this time of year? Drop them in the comments! Or, if you could use some extra support, health tips, and practical advice, please join me in my free Facebook community, Never Diet Again. Looking forward to seeing you there!