'Tis the Season... for Indulging!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…FOR TREATS!

sugar-cookie-mittens-gbp.jpg

If you’re one of the ones trying to diet or get a jump on that summer body you may consider this time to be the worst; all of the cakes, cookies, pies, and not just one but two holidays full of them back to back. Even if we have the most will power there can sometimes be a of us that wants to indulge and truly enjoy the holiday season, especially the sweets! Or maybe it isn’t the sugar that does you in but the roasted turkey with garlic mashed potatoes and green bean casserole covered in homemade gravy. If sweet doesn’t get you I’m sure the not so healthy savory foods do.

And I don’t blame you at all.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is all the festive treats that only come out once the leaves have fallen and the ground has frozen (we’re all human and no matter how healthy you are it is not a crime to enjoy a piece of apple pie or Yule log cake).

So what do we do? Ignore our cravings for the sweets and act like we aren’t envious of everyone else?

Absolutely not!

The worst and last thing we want to do is ignore cravings and take away such a vital piece of the holiday season. It’s OKAY to enjoy a little here and there, especially for holidays and special occasions (and it’s about time someone tells you that there’s nothing wrong with fully enjoying festivities).

But listen we still must pay attention to what we’re doing; just because it’s okay to enjoy does not mean that we need to eat an entire apple pie after dinner or have the 12 days of cake in December. While enjoying our holiday meals we need to remember how hard we’ve worked up until this point, or the fact that if we’re just starting our healthy lifestyle, we don’t want to fall off the wagon just as we’re getting on.

So how do we make this work?

topphoto.jpg

There’s plenty of little things we can do to make sure that we do not over-indulge in holiday spirit.  Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind as holiday parties and gatherings approach:

1)      Make your own side dish or dessert! You don’t have to bring your own meal entirely, but if you prepare at least one side or snack you’ll be sure to know exactly what’s in it and better plan the rest of your meal.

2)      Make your calories count. Skip out on having a ton of appetizers and snacks so you can enjoy the entire meal and dessert instead (portions in moderation of course; skipping the apps does not mean we get to have 4 plates and a pie to make up for it).

1503414152-strawberry-santa-treat.jpg

3)      Work off the extra calories. By no means am I saying we now need to work out for 2 hours a day 7 days a week, but we need to remember if we are allowing ourselves to indulge for the holidays we should plan on throwing in a few more workouts and kicking up the intensity the day after our meals (its OKAY to take days off, especially holidays themselves; enjoy family or friends and give yourself one day to rest).

4)      DO NOT STRESS YOUR PLATE. Holidays are a time to enjoy and honestly you deserve it. This doesn’t mean we throw all of our progress or goals out of the window, but we don’t need to beat ourselves up over having some foods that aren’t normally on our plates. Remember to keep yourself in check, keep your portions under control, and don’t let yourself stretch the holiday cheat meal into more than one meal.

Remember we are all human and allowed to enjoy ourselves. Just because we are leading or starting a healthy lifestyle does not mean that we become the Grinch during the holiday season. Keep the magic alive and the mashed potatoes on your plate; just don’t lose track of your goals once the night is over! One cheat meal won’t kill us but falling into cheat meals will set us back. Remember the basics and you’ll be able to enjoy your holidays just like everyone else.

Dr. Victoria Malchar