4 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Food Frenzy
Every year, new clients tell me that they struggle with all of the holiday temptations, but they don’t want to feel bloated or sick when they’re with family and friends over the holidays. That’s the time they want to feel their best!
I want you to feel your best, too - and you may not even realize it’s just a few foods that could be derailing you. So I've focused on four key actions that can help. Be good to yourself and feel good this December!
1.Make a “Holiday Resolution” NOW. You don't have to wait until January 1st to set an intention! Too often, we do the "binge now, resolve later" thing. But by New Year's Day, you may have already gained extra weight or run down your immune system, and feel bloated, tired, moody, or sick. Consider if any of these Holiday Resolutions fit you, or create your own:
• I would like to maintain my current weight this holiday season.
• I would like to be more present with my family during the holidays.
• I would like to have more energy over the winter break.
• I would like to avoid getting sick this holiday.
Choose the Holiday Resolution that fits best for you, or create your own! And did you know that people are twice as likely to achieve their goals when they have an accountability partner? So, share your Holiday Resolution with a friend or family member, and ask them to encourage you, listen to you, and help you stay on track.
2.Be intentional about the foods you choose. Many people don’t make the connection between what they’ve eaten and how they feel. Everyone is different, but some foods could be triggering your symptoms – whether it’s stomach distress, headaches, stuffiness, tiredness, even itchy skin. Consider passing or going easy on the foods you like, but that don’t like you back. (Hint: maybe it’s the cream in the green bean casserole that’s causing your bloated feeling). Enjoy the foods that make you happy and make you feel good. If it’s not a mutual relationship, consider skipping it and crowd it out with something that doesn't make you feel terrible after eating it. That way, you can enjoy the holidays without suffering from symptoms .
3.Stay hydrated with the two-for-one tip. It’s no surprise that alcohol can have some significant side effects on the way you feel (we were all 21 once), and you may not even realize it’s due to the drinks you had the night before. For example, red wine is a histamine and can create congestion, making you feel stuffy and headachy the next day. Alcoholic drinks can make you feel foggy, nervous, or depressed the following morning. That's in addition to that wicked hangover. Why is this happening? Well, your blood sugar drops as alcohol leaves your body. Low blood sugar causes mood shifts, including irritability and anxiety. The sugar in alcohol also causes inflammation, which can make you achy and affect your memory. And all alcohol is dehydrating! So, if party drinks make you feel moody, achy, or sick the next day, consider how much you want (or don’t want) to drink ahead of time, and stick to your plan. Then, try this tip for staying hydrated: Drink two cups of water (or festive non-alcoholic alternatives) for every glass of alcohol you have. Festive alternatives include: unsweetened herbal iced tea with cranberries; chilled tonic or club soda with muddled blueberries, raspberries, or whatever fruit is on hand; and fruit-infused sparkling water (my new favorite sparkler is Grapefruit Perrier).
4.You can’t eat it if it’s not there. Give everyone “to go” containers of leftovers – especially the foods you love (but that don’t love you). The best way I have found to avoid the sugary or salty or carb-y foods is not to have them in your house in the first place! If you feel that you must have holiday foods on hand for your family or guests, store them in non-see-through containers and put them out of sight.
Get the FREE Holiday Survival Guide!
The Holiday Survival Guide comes with everything you need to make your health a priority this holiday season, regardless of how many pies cross your path.