Oh my gosh! There was so much good food on our Thanksgiving table this year. I’m talking three turkeys, one smoked and two roasted, as well as two smoked tri-tip roasts. That’s a lot of meat to choose from! I had to try a little of each to experience the different flavors. Absolutely no way I could pass on the mashed potatoes. I was born in Idaho! This girl loves potatoes in ANY form. Definitely had to have a roll but I did choose wheat. (My contribution to dinner was rolls and pies) I rarely eat bread so that was a nice treat. Then there was the cinnamon cranberry apple sauce that was super delicious. A little eggnog and of course, pie. Five different pies! I sampled apple, chocolate cream, and pumpkin cheesecake. Are you feeling full yet? Or perhaps, hungry. Can you relate to me? Who else struggles with holiday eating?
This year our oldest daughter hosted Thanksgiving. It was the first time four generations of our family had Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the third generation. The upper matriarchs have always had dibs on this event. Yet another milestone in this journey of life and the next chapter. Our daughter and son-in-law did an amazing job hosting by the way. The table was stunning with beautiful centerpieces and place settings. They prepped and planned perfectly. We had a warm, fun-filled family holiday.
Unfortunately, the enormous dinner wasn’t all I ate. We had snacks, drinks, and hors-d’oeuvres throughout the day. By the end of the night, my stomach felt so full and uncomfortable. All I wanted to do was lie flat stretched out on a bed in hopes it would stretch my stomach to the point of feeling feel better.
In this season of cookies, candies, treats, and lots of good food it can be challenging to stick with healthy eating. Even the most disciplined athletes and dieters find it hard to say no this time of year. My approach towards holiday eating is balance and moderation. One day is not going to destroy you. Nor will a few treats here and there. This is my opinion assisted by a lot of reading and research over the years. Here are the reasons why:
Change Is Good
Your body actually needs a break in the diet every now and then. It’s a good trigger for your metabolism. You should have a regular cheat meal. It’s even good to take a week off from your plan. Change things up. Just make sure you get right back on track. Practice moderation. Don’t binge.
True Weight Gain Doesn’t Happen Overnight
You cannot gain five pounds of FAT overnight or even in one day. The quick weight fluctuations you experience are water weight. This can be caused by the amount of salt intake and retention. Don’t make yourself crazy with the scale. I am not a big advocate of the scale anyway. I share more thoughts on the scale in this post.
Drinking Lots Of Water Does Help
Drinking a lot of water aids in weight loss and maintenance. It also helps you feel less hungry. Drink water often and as much as you can. One gallon of water per day is a great target. I drink a lot of water. It is definitely my beverage of choice throughout the day.
Even though I felt terrible after all the eating on Thanksgiving Day I was confident that I would bounce right back. Most of my confidence was gained over the past year on this program. It has taught me to enjoy short consistent workouts and have a better understanding of what and how I should eat. There are some actions you can take that will help you feel confident during your holiday eating struggles.
Actions That Will Help You Maintain During The Holidays
Get a good night sleep. Proper sleep makes you less hungry. Your metabolism functions better too.
Continue your workouts during the holiday season. Stay active. I like short workouts or making chores like cleaning house, extra physical. Get your heart rate up. Go outside and play in the snow. (or no snow)
Balance your meals. When you know you will be eating heavy surround that meal with lighter meals. Never skip meals though. We seem to think that if we skip a meal it’s good. Really, it’s the complete opposite.
Don’t get down on yourself or throw in the towel because you had a bad day of eating. Stay positive and bounce right back.
Don’t Feel Deprived
This is huge. Don’t make yourself feel deprived by abstaining from the food you really want to eat. Practice the two bite rule. Two bites will satisfy your craving. Go ahead and have a taste of that amazing looking cookie your neighbor dropped off or that creamy cheesy mac ‘n’ cheese. Those two bites are not going to add any weight to the scale. Then walk away. Drink some water. It helps.
The holiday season is a joyous time filled with celebration, loved ones, and memory making. Don’t sweat the small stuff here. Enjoy yourself and your company. Create happy memories. Just remember to practice balance and moderation. These are the keys to combat holiday eating struggles.
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