This year of healthy resolutions is almost coming to an end…but not quite! We have one more month to make changes for the better. So far this year you have sat less, you’ve spent more time outside, you’ve stretched more and drank more water and you even went meatless! For this final month your challenge is one that in a way brings it all together to help you keep these changes going. This month your challenge is to practice moderation.
When I worked as a health coach this is something almost all of my clients struggled with – and I think it is something most people do struggle with as they are trying to make the transition to a healthy lifestyle and not just a short term diet. You have to figure out how to live your life, and enjoy it and have celebrations and holidays, while also staying healthy. Is it possible? YES!
This time of year is all about parties and celebrating and time with friends and family – and also lots of food. While some get a little nervous about going to these parties, I’m here to assure you that you CAN make it through the holidays without over indulging and regretting every party you go to. The key is moderation.
Moderation in everything – eating sweets, staying out too late, getting enough exercise, taking time to manage your stress. Everything should be done with moderation in mind.
As far as exercise goes, set a goal for how many days a week you would like to exercise. Be reasonable – and set up a chart some place that will keep you accountable. It’s a great idea to be sure to get exercise on the days you have a party to attend, and then make sure to be active most days of the week just for your health.
Then as far as eating goes at those parties, here are a few tips that can help:
– Don’t make food off limits: When a food is a “no” food, you most likely will want it more. Go into it knowing you will see and eat things you really like and that taste great, and that is okay!
– Feast with your eyes and only taste with your mouth: Before walking into a party and filling your plate with the first things you see, first look at all your options and assess what you really want. Remember, moderation – so you won’t be eating everything you see. But you can taste a few of the most delicious looking ones.
– Don’t go to a party starving: When you go to a party starving you are more likely to overindulge. Make sure you are hungry, but not starving. Eat healthy foods throughout the day before so you have room for a treat but aren’t planning on making treats your meal.
– Talk more than you eat: You go to a party to be with friends and family, right? So spend time mingling and talking and enjoying the company, not just the food. Eat a little and visit a lot. The more time you spend talking the less time you will spend eating!
– Stay hydrated: Choose to drink water at parties and all day long. It will keep your body much healthier and happier.
– Bring something healthy to share: When you are asked to bring something to share, aim for something on the healthier side. It doesn’t have to just be a veggies tray – try a healthy dip with some whole wheat chips or a fruit dish.
In the end, it is all about being gentle with yourself and loving yourself. It is okay, and normal, to eat those delicious breads and cookies this time of year. But do it knowing you don’t have to have 3 cookies and a piece of bread. You can eat a cookie while also having eaten healthy things throughout the day and already exercising. It’s all about moderation.