It seems like yesterday I was writing that July 4th was yesterday and it’s already December 4th! Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed and New Year’s Day is in less than a month. [I really failed with my “write more often” resolution.]
Now that December is here, the holiday season is in full swing. Chanukkah started at nightfall on Sunday December 2nd and goes through December 10th. Christmas is December 25th, and Kwanzaa is from December 26 through January 1st. I’m sure there are other holidays in December like Boxing Day that people celebrate, but these are the three I am most familiar with. December is a crazy time of the year (understatement alert). So here are some suggestions for what I do to make it through this month and enjoy the holidays.
The holiday season can be a bad time for people. Some people are away from their family during the holidays or don’t have a family to celebrate with. Reach out to people and invite them to a party, for coffee, for a walk, etc. My brother always has holiday dinners for his friends who don’t have family in the area. He has done it for decades.
Make charitable donations. There are plenty of toy drives and places in need of donations to buy food for people. If you don’t have money, you can donate your time. Volunteer at hospitals, shelters (people and animal), etc. Consider donating blood. The holidays can often be a slow time for the Red Cross.
If you feel alone or need assistance, it may be hard for you, but reach out to someone. You may be surprised that people don’t know your situation, but are willing to help. If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s mental well being affecting your/their safety, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
The holiday season is stressful. There seems to be a non-stop to do list with hardly a moment to take a breath. Most people focus on gift giving to others, but forget to include themselves on the list. This season, do something nice just for you. It could be something small or large. It doesn’t have to be an object. It could be something that you want to do, like taking a walk or even a nap. My favorite is getting my nails done. It’s really relaxing. For the holidays I’ve decided to have fun with the colors. Here are pictures of my recent manicures with low-key and BOLD sparkles!
Enjoying the holidays without gaining weight is a challenge most of us face. It seems that from Thanksgiving until after New Year’s that it’s a non-stop battle to enjoy the holidays without sabotaging your health goals. Some people say “forget it. I’ll deal with it in January.” Others limit themselves so much that they don’t enjoy the delicious holiday foods.
So, can you enjoy the holidays without putting on a lot of weight? I say yes!
For instance, skipping meals to save calories for a party is generally not a good idea. While you may save calories, you may be so hungry that you overeat at the event. Instead eat low-calorie dense foods that will curb your hunger.
Once at the event, have a plan. Parties tend to be buffet style with a large selection. Eat small portions, or have a bite or two of a dish. You don’t have to have a full plate of each item. This way you can try more foods without blowing your daily caloric intake count.
Holidays are for celebrating. Champagne and egg nog are two of my favorites. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a glass or two, but go easy on or abstain from the alcohol. Alcohol has a lot of empty calories that you could use for eating something else…like dessert. (mmmm…peppermint bark and chocolate cupcakes (I made these gluten free ones with cream cheese frosting).
Give yourself a break. If you overeat at one party, try to get in more movement the next day. It’s only one meal after-all.
Most importantly, enjoy the holidays! I know I will because it means that our local ski season is around the corner!!!
So, what’s your go-to for managing weight gain during the holidays. Let me know in the comments.