The Christmas holidays are fast approaching and you may find that your willingness to stick to a healthy diet is going to be tested. Fear not, if you have a positive, strong mind set, there is no reason why you cannot still lead a healthy lifestyle, even with a big holiday coming up soon. Here is what you can do to stick to your healthy routine.
Plan Your Meals In Advance
It will certainly help if you can go grocery shopping and buy a week’s worth of food so that you can plan your evening meals. If you write out a physical plan on paper and stick it up in your kitchen, you might be more inclined to stick to your intended meal plan. Also buying your groceries in advance enables you to think of interesting meals to cook with the ingredients you have bought. It will also help save some time each night if you know you have ingredients to cook with, without stressing that you don’t know what to have for dinner after arriving home from work.
Cook Your Favorite Meals
There is not much point trying to eat meals or ingredients that you really do not enjoy. There is a wide variety of vegetables, meats, fish, cheese, pulses and fruit that you can incorporate into a lovely, tasty meal. So instead of just focusing on which ingredients have the fewest calories, opt for foods that you thoroughly enjoy and want to create at home. You could try cooking up your favorite meals that you have eaten in restaurants when you have been out for dinner. This is going to inspire you to try and recreate the same dish at home. It is likely to taste even better when you can just add your favorite ingredients or mix it up a little to create your own version of the same recipe. The possibilities are endless.
Take Time to Care for Yourself
Being under a lot of stress and being sleep deprived may affect your ability to stick to a healthy diet plan. Looking after your mental wellbeing and making sure to get enough rest each day will help to keep your positive mentality and good spirits up. Basic self care is important on the path to choosing healthy, nourishing foods.
Don’t Eliminate Your Favorite Foods Completely
If you want to make positive changes to your diet and lifestyle, it is going to be a drastic change if you eliminate all sugar and salt from your diet completely. It’s ok to enjoy decadent sweets like how to make hershey kiss cookies if you want to indulge sometimes. Plus you might need a ‘pick me up’ when it comes to the Christmas holidays, so try not to be too hard on yourself for allowing a bit of sweetness in your life.
Share The Healthy Journey With a Friend/Loved One
When you are sharing a health journey with a loved one or friend it can be a lot more motivating and inspiring if you can experience it together. This can help to prevent you from having a setback and wanting to order an unhealthy takeaway that is loaded with saturated fat and salt.
Try Not To Restrict Yourself Too Much On Christmas Day
It only happens once a year this holiday, so the rest of your family and friends are likely to want to tuck into all the trimmings on Christmas Day. You can either allow yourself to simply eat everything you would like in moderation or perhaps swap things around so that you are making healthier choices. Instead of having lots of meat servings with rich gravy or really heavy desserts you could include more vegetables on your plate and opt for a lighter version of your favorite sweet treat. It doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the festivities if you want to stick to your healthy eating plan, but if you are willing to make a few changes you can still enjoy all the wonderful food without worrying about eating too many calories.
Overall, if you can allow yourself time to gradually get into your healthy routine and not be too harsh on yourself there is no reason why you cannot keep at it and maintain your new healthy lifestyle in the long term.
Have questions? Comments? I would love to hear what you think below!
Jinan Banna, PhD, RD is the founder of Jinan Banna LLC and an Associate Professor of Nutrition at the University of Hawaii. Her research interest is in obesity prevention. Jinan helps working women to lose weight so that they can feel confident and energetic by offering free information on her blog, as well as nutrition coaching. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Doctorate in Nutritional Biology. She is also a registered dietitian.