Ten practical tips to support you through the holiday season

Here are 10 practical tips from Jessica Ortner for making it easier to eat healthy during the holiday season.

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1. Be conscious of your emotions before you begin to eat: Are you walking towards the food to avoid an awkward conversation with that uncle? Are you really stressed because you are hosting a party so you are turning to food? It really serves to ask yourself before you  begin eating “Am I really hungry?” Be present so you are aware of the difference between emotional eating and hunger.

2.  Drink more water: Coffee and alcohol  are very dehydrating. Alcohol especially is filled with empty calories. So increase your water intake during the holidays and this is going to help you feel full as well as help you feel centered and emotionally balanced. An extra tip is to serve the water in a fancy glass. If you hold a glass of water at holidays parties you will be surprised at how much you drink.

3. Eat a little bit before going to a holiday gathering: Have a salad or some fruit choose a nutritious small meal. Often times we go to a party hungry with low blood sugar which results in us making really bad decisions. it is hard to think right and make good decisions when we have low blood sugar and we feel hungry.

4. Start you day with exercise: exercising in the morning will set your metabolic rate a  bit of a higher level and it going to help you burn fat efficiently.  The reason to do this in the morning it is so great to get it out of the way. One of the biggest excuses people have around exercising is is not having enough time There is something very powerful and easy about getting up a little earlier and  starting your day off right. That way you get it out of the way and you will find you will be feeling so much better with all those great  endorphins running through your body it will be easier for you to enjoy the holiday and make better choices.

5. Clear away the food from your sight. Don’t leave cookies out in the open. After a holiday party put that tin of cookies away. Just by putting them away you won’t need to continuously focus on them and make the decision as to weather you want one or not. So it sounds like a simple tool but is really makes your life easier. make sure put away those foods that don’t serve you.

6. Stay well fed this also relates to tip #3: The thing that happens during the holiday season is we fall out of our eating routine.  So we get very busy and because we know a big meal is coming we don’t eat and then we have a massive meal and we make unhealthy choices. Try the best you can to stay well fed and have meals and make sure you are eating that nutritious food. This isn’t about deprivation. If are eating meals that have a lot  of nutrition in them and you are making sure you are well fed in a healthy way. it is going to make it easier to make healthy decisions when you are having those big family meals.

7. Step away from the food table: Distance is your friend.  The party isn’t about the food it’s about the people. Chat with them away from the food table. So you can  be very present in the conversation. This will help prevent mindless eating where your are in a conversation and because the  food is there you just reach for it. So again distance is your friend, step away from the food table and really enjoy the people in the room

8. Be very present with your food: The holiday is a time of mindless eating. a lot of times you are having a conversation with someone while you are picking at this food. I am not asking you to go into the corner and eat silently by yourself. But to be very present and mindful when you eat. Before you put something in your mouth look at it notice it when you are eating notice the texture and enjoy the flavor. try to eat when you are not in a conversation where you really having to participate. try to make that space for yourself to just put that food in your mouth and enjoy it for a moment.

9. Keep in mind the celebrations are about family and friends, that should be your focus not the food: When we stop putting so much focus on the food  and looking forward to the food and making the food the centerpiece of the holiday experience, when we stop doing that we are able to focus on the richness of our families and bring in more gratitude and end the year is such great place.

10. Stay focused on your goal: People tend to get very focused on their weight loss goal in the New Year. They wait until January 1st. Remember you already have this healthy vision for yourself. You have already made this connection. Holding that vision is very important. Take some time in the morning to visualize how good it feels to be healthy and thin. Really hold on to that vision. Because by getting excited about that vision that will make saying no “thank you” to something that doesn’t serve you very easy. It makes these healthy choices exciting because it is empowering and you know that it means that you are getting closer to that wonderful vision.

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