It’s almost Thanksgiving and all my neighbors are decorating for Christmas. Seems a little early to me, but with the marketplace full of Christmas items, it’s difficult to avoid the spirit of Christmas. Thanksgiving brings not only holiday decorations, but holiday cookies, party buffets, and seasonal galas. It’s difficult to avoid the pitfalls of enticing and delectable holiday offerings.
There are many tips, tricks, and strategies to avoid temptation. Some are tried and true; others offer nothing but empty resounding words that will not keep you from having an extra piece of grandma’s famous chocolate cream-filled holiday cake.
No matter where you live — city, country, or in-between, we all need to avoid overindulgence. Here are some ideas to help you stay healthy this holiday season.
#1 Decorate your water bottle. Yes, you read that right. Create or purchase a sleeve that fits over an ordinary water bottle that you can carry with you. Place your favorite motivational quotes and pictures on the sleeve to remind you to keep hydrated, while inspiring you to avoid overeating. Keeping hydrated will help you feel full. Decorate the bottle with something seasonal — a small piece of tinsel, or holiday scene — to remind you that the holiday will soon be over, but that extra piece of fruitcake will linger.
#2 Sip. Sip. Sip. Alcohol seems to freely flow around the holidays and it is easy to pack on pounds without overeating; those extra cocktails will gladly give you a hug around your mid-section that lasts until spring. Avoid over-drinking. You don’t have to avoid alcohol completely; in fact socializing is an important part of the holiday experience. Just don’t overdo. Sip your cocktail instead of following the crowd and downing too much holiday cheer. You will thank yourself when swimsuit season arrives. Repeat three times while sipping that holiday margarita, "swimsuit, swimsuit, swimsuit."
#3 Be a vegetarian or vegan in December. OK, so you like meat and you are really tempted by mom’s holiday beef roast. The meaty aroma wafts across the room and is calling out to you. But, stop. You don’t need those extra protein calories. Announce that you are vegan. People will not tempt you to try the hearty meat-fortified casserole dripping with seasoned fat and extra butter. They will respect your new lifestyle and you will not have to worry about those extra calories. After all, you may decide to remain vegan after the holidays.
#4 Tighten that belt. There is nothing more uncomfortable than a tight waistband; you know — the one that makes an unseemly muffin top. We certainly want you to look your best in your holiday attire, but tightening your belt just a little will detour you from the pastry table. A smidgen of being uncomfortable is well worth the calories you will avoid. After the party, when you arrive home, you can remove your belt and feel proud that you did not overindulge.
#5 Stick to the basics. This is really not new advice, just a twist on an old favorite. When filling up your plate, select items that fill you up rather than weigh you down. Choose raw, organic fruits and vegetables. Insist that your fruits and vegetables are from the local farmers market. Oh, that may seem a little snooty, but it’s your health and your body. Maybe you will entice a friend or relative to insist on organic and sustainable food choices. We all need to change the world, one step at a time.
There is a ton of good advice available and, remember, knowledge is power. Dive into all the information you can about staying healthy, not just on the holidays, but all through the year.
From our farmhouse to yours, have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Gina McKnight is an author and freelance writer from Ohio, USA. gmcknight.com