Wednesday, December 16, 2015

5 Tips for Staying on Track Through the Holidays

As we are all well aware, the holidays are a difficult time to stay on track, and it's no secret that the majority of New Years' resolutions are related to weight-loss--probably due to all the gluttony of the previous month!

Well, I am super excited to announce that I've teamed up with Alissa from A Journey to Thin to bring you our "Healthy for the Holidays" series over the next 3 weeks, complete with giveaways! Each week, we will be posting on different topics to help you get through the holidays in the healthiest way possible, and start 2016 off as the best version of yourself yet! 

For my first post in this series, I'm diving right in with 5 tips to help you stay on track during the holiday season. These are a culmination of my own tried-and-true strategies, as well as some excellent tips that readers posted on my Healthy Thanksgiving post!

Without further ado, here we go!

1. Water, water, water! During this time of year, we are bombarded with so much rich, delicious, calorie-laden food, it's important to make sure we are drinking enough water to flush everything out of our systems. I have a 32-oz bottle (jug?) of water that goes with me pretty much everywhere I go, and as long as I keep it filled, it's no problem for me to drink 3 of those throughout the day. (I generally try to drink most of it before dinner so I'm not going to the bathroom all night long, but that doesn't always happen.)

2. Make a note of all your "trouble days". I picked up this strategy in a Weight Watchers meeting a few weeks ago--mark all of your "trouble days" on a calendar, days where you have parties or events to attend, and make a plan for those days. For me, I have 4 specific days--yesterday was a work Christmas party for all of our clients, Monday the 21st is our employee Christmas party, and then Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (we don't really do anything for New Year's Eve/Day). Other than those 4 days, all the other days this month are regular days for me--so it really shouldn't be that difficult to stay on plan and see some overall weight loss! On the trouble days, I need to follow the strategies I listed for Thanksgiving (though I'll admit, I pretty much failed at this yesterday! All the food was so freaking delicious!)

3. Increase activity. Try to increase the amount of daily activity you get to help offset some of the extra treats and indulgences you're having. This doesn't necessarily mean "exercise more", it just means increase movement any way you can! I'm sure you've heard it all before but things like parking in the back of the parking lot, taking the stairs instead of the elevator (if you live/work high up in a building, take the elevator to a few floors below yours and then take the stairs the rest of the way), make a few extra laps around the grocery store... everything helps! One of my new favorite things to do is a lunch time walk--a 20-30 minute walk in the middle of the day is a perfect little pick-me-up!

4. Bake some treats and give them away! So, little-known fact about me: I LOVE to bake. I mean, I LOVE it. Baking Christmas cookies with my mom every year for as long as I can remember is one of my favorite holiday memories. We baked every kind of cookie under the sun--chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter, etc.... not to mention making chocolate fudge and peanut butter fudge! Oh, and chocolate-covered pretzels and chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies... the list goes on. However, we never gave any of it away. Nope, we'd pretty much eat every bit of it between me and my parents and siblings. A few years ago, I realized how much I missed baking... I'd avoided it for a long time because A) it reminded me too much of my mom, and B) I was always trying to lose weight and that wouldn't happen with all that yumminess in my house! So I decided to start boxing up the treats and giving them away to friends and neighbors and coworkers. Guess what--it works like a charm! I get my baking fix and keep just a few cookies/pieces at home, and then I give the rest away! Good for my waistline and my soul ;) 

5. Relax (occasionally) and enjoy the season. I know, so much easier said than done, right? But here's the thing... in all the hustle and bustle, it's easy to forget to take care of yourself. If there's one thing I've learned since I started my eating disorder recovery, it's the importance of self-care. I absolutely have to get out and have time to myself 1-2 times per week. Usually, that winds up being grocery shopping every other Tuesday evening (I refuse to go grocery shopping with my kids!), and a couple of nights blogging in a coffee shop. It's just the thing to help me refocus and take care of myself. I also enjoy getting out for my runs (which haven't happened much this week), and waking up extra extra early to enjoy some quiet time before the kids get up. It's hard to fit it into my busy schedule, but I make it happen. In short... take care of yourself! You know how you're supposed to put on your oxygen mask first in an airplane before you start helping others? It's the same principle! Also, don't forget to partake in some of the unique things to do this time of year... caroling, holiday musicals, driving around (or running through neighborhoods!) to look at Christmas lights... shoot, just drinking some hot cocoa while watching movies on the Hallmark channel is awesome! 

So, how about that giveaway?!? This week, we are giving away 1 $25 giftcard to Walmart or Target (winner's choice). To enter, complete the steps in the Rafflecopter below to get multiple entries, and be sure to visit Alissa at A Journey to Thin and comment there as well! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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