I always feel like Halloween kicks off the "Holiday Season".
Once the Halloween candy is brought into the office, it becomes a non-stop parade of goodies for about 9-10 weeks (we celebrate after New Year's here!).
I've been on diets for as long as I can remember and only in college did I learn the difference between dieting and living a healthy lifestyle.
Dieting to me is synonymous with restriction, deprivation, struggle, difficult, and NO!
Living a healthy lifestyle to me rings more with balance, choices, forgiveness, and YES!
I've learned a few tricks along the way to make sure my new eating habits and workout routines were balanced properly in my life. In fact, I like to use the word "harmonious" over "balance" because let's face it, sometimes not working out or indulging once in awhile will take the lead over healthy eating 100% of the time and consistent exercise.
My healthy living tricks:
1. If you're going to indulge, make it GOOD. Make it WORTH IT.
Example: Because of my GD (gestational diabetes), I have to really watch not just how many carbs I ingest, but also keep a strong handle on my sugar intake. My treats are already limited. But after talking to my doctor and sharing my frustration of the timing of having GD during the holidays, she mentioned that a treat once in awhile isn't going to do damage. It is constant elevated levels of high glucose that causes complications.
I know that a treat once in awhile is OK. But with GD, my choices carry much more weight because the don't just affect me, they affect my baby as well.
So for this Holiday Season, I've made the choice to go ahead and have a treat on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day (if baby is still inside my belly by then!). How do I decide what treat I'm going to have? Well, my favorite of all time is Pumpkin Pie. I love anything pumpkin. I'll stay away from the cupcakes and cookies and candies but give me a slice of that pumpkin pie! I may even pass over the pumpkin pie for a more unique dessert- like a pumpkin creme brulee (I've only had that once in my life and will gladly forfeit pumpkin pie this year if anyone has a recipe and wants to make me some!).
Another example? One of our fave restaurants has a chocolate souffle cake. NOT a chocolate souffle, but a flourless, dense chocolate cake that tasted like the outside of a souffle. Well, after trying it a few times we decided to not order it again. Why? Because there many really really good restaurants that offer chocolate souffles here in Hawaii that are about 10x better than the cake. So why waste calories on something we just kinda like? We'd rather skip the cake and have frozen yogurt instead.
2. It's all about portion sizes.
So now that you got your fave dessert in mind, it's also important to watch your portion sizes.
I know, I know, we hear that all the time! So what does that mean? Simple- have one cupcake not two, have a slice of pumpkin pie not the whole thing, maybe 2-3 cookies not a full dozen. Simple math, right?
But how do you stop from just having one slice, one cupcake, 2 cookies? I bargain with myself.
That one slice of pumpkin pie is a freebie... anything else whether it's a cupcake or cookie or another slice of pie is an additional 30 minutes of exercise. Sure 30 minutes may not be enough to burn off the extra calories but it's more than what I usually do.
3. Remember that a holiday is just that- one day.
I think it's so easy to get wrapped up in the "Holiday Season" that we tend to indulge all season long. There are so many parties to go to and people to visit, be sure that when you indulge you 1) make it worth it and 2) stick to portion sizes. And don't do it at every party and event you attend!
Love your grandma's cookies? Then have some. Going to an office party the next day? Try to fill up on more veggies and lean protein and stay away from the sweet stuff. Don't keep using parties as an excuse to have your fill of sweets. Pick a party that you know will have the good stuff and plan accordingly.
And guess what? If you indulge in two parties in a row, throw in some extra time in your workouts!
And if you really can't let go of the extra sweets, remember that these parties will come around again next year. Give yourself permission to have it, just not now.
It's all about balance and harmony. Find your middle ground without compromising your goals.
You are worth living a healthy lifestyle. Don't throw it all away- have a battle plan!
Do you have any tips or tricks for sticking to a healthy lifestyle during the holidays?
What's your favorite dessert this season?