One of the best parts, if not the best part, of the holiday season is the food. Mashed potatoes, cookies, pies, hot chocolate, and candies…need I say more? There’s only one drawback to delicious foods – they could potentially derail your healthy lifestyle. So, what’s the solution? BALANCE! Check out five strategies that can help you indulge in wonderful holiday treats while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle:
Planning = Succeeding
Taking a few minutes at the start of each week to plan your meal and exercise routines is one of the ultimate strategies for success. For example, if you’re trying to limit your hot chocolate and cookie intake to only two times per week (me right now), then you’ll have to plan these treats around your schedule. So, if you have a date night planned for Friday and a family holiday party on Saturday – and you know you’ll be eating your favorite foods at these events – then that means you would plan to eat healthy foods for the whole week leading up to Friday night and Saturday night. Whatever your nutrition or fitness goals may be, planning never goes out of style.
Stick to Your Routine
Do you ever have to remind yourself to brush your teeth? No. It’s part of your routine every day and every night, so it’s automatic. The same principle applies to healthy habits – creating a set routine for yourself will help you maintain consistency even amidst all the holiday hustle and bustle.
Find Healthy Alternatives
Sugary and fatty foods are my holiday season love language, but it’s important to find healthy alternatives to have ready when the sweet tooth calls. Fresh fruit, nuts covered in unsweetened dark chocolate, and dried fruits are all great options. Healthy substitutes can also be used to make your favorite recipes healthier. Here are a few examples: replace natural cane sugar with stevia, honey, or agave, and replace sour cream with unsweetened Greek yogurt.
Whether it’s your significant other, family member, or friend, having someone who shares the same goals as you can make it so much easier to stick to your goals. For myself, I like to decide with my buddy what day we would like to treat ourselves. This way, we stick to the same meal plan and support each other when the tempting holiday sugar cookies call our names.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up!
If you fall off the wagon and end up eating a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough, don’t beat yourself up! Just get back to your healthy routine as quickly as possible. Sometimes we tell ourselves “well, I’ve already messed up my routine, so why try anymore?” One mistake won’t ruin all the progress you’ve made! If you were building a house and one brick fell to the ground, would you give up and say it was all for nothing? No! And the same goes for you!
Plan ahead, stay positive, and you’ll easily achieve the balance you need to succeed this holiday season!
– Jesse Bailey
Jesse is the Viiva Senior Copywriter. She recently graduated Cum Laude from the University of Utah with a BA in English and a BS in Economics. She loves hiking, writing, eating cookies, and spending time in the sunshine with loved ones. She currently resides in Utah.