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Stay on Track this Holiday Season

by Faith

We have entered a tough time for healthy eating. For some it started with candy on Halloween, and will continue with parties and get-togethers for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year, where food and drinks are abundant.

This time of the year can stress many people out. Many are afraid to fall off track from their goals and start the next year “behind.”

Mindset is key through this season. Picking what to eat and how much to eat is much more a mental game than physical.

With that being said, we also want to be able to enjoy our favorite foods. Nutrition should be 80/20…80% of the time making nutritious choices, while the other 20% is for enjoying some foods that may not be so nutritious. The key to this rule is moderation. So how do you stick to the 80/20 rule even during the holiday season?

Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

  • Schedule out the days you will allow yourself to enjoy some of those special foods. Look at the holiday parties on your calendar. Plan those days to be the days you will allow the 20% to come in, so stick to the 80% faithfully on regular days throughout this season. The mental preparation will help you to enjoy those parties instead of mentally freaking out the entire time.
  • Don’t have “cheat days.” Instead, have a “treat meal.” Knowing you are going to a holiday party, don’t just throw away the day in terms of healthy eating. The party is at night? Eat a nutritious breakfast and lunch, and save the “treat” for dinner. Also, viewing it as treating yourself instead of cheating yourself will help you to mentally enjoy yourself as well.
  • Don’t over-compensate. Don’t starve yourself all day so you can eat whatever you want. This will lead to overindulging and then guilty feelings. Again, moderation is key, and such drastic change from regular eating habits by starving and then overeating is worse off for you physical and mentally.
  • Don’t make-up the next day. If you feel like you over did it, don’t try to fix it by not eating the next day. Don’t have the mentality that you need to punish yourself. Instead, just get back on track. Your body thrives on consistency. Remember how going overboard feels to help yourself with better self-control the next time, and just get right back on track.  

Take in this season with the mindset of moderation – enjoy yourself but don’t let that keep you from reaching your goals. Remember to plan ahead so that you can enjoy the season with the 80/20 rule.  


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