Look, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, Christmas is a month away, and New Year’s is a stone’s throw away, and we all know what that means. A never-ending buffet of holiday food, drink, and alcohol are fast approaching. And if you are anything like me, you need to keep your routine of going to the gym and eating right otherwise. You might never get back into it once the holidays pass. So how do you go about dieting during the holidays?
First thing first, I’m not a huge fan of the word dieting. I’m eating cleaner than before, and I try to stick to it, with the occasional cheat meal scattered here and there. But for the sake of brevity, we’ll call it dieting.
Dieting During the Holidays
Let’s talk about guilt and food. Feeling guilty because you ate food that may not be the best is not good. It’s food, and it’s okay to have cheat meals, especially during the holidays when you are surrounded by delicious food. Please don’t feel guilty and realize that you are living your life, and it’s okay to enjoy it.
My family has some iconic dishes they make only during the holidays, so it’s easy for me to overindulge in said dishes. But, I mean, I can only get them once a year, so better make the best of it, right? Having someone there to throw a little shade at you for having your fourth plate of stuffing might be the reality check you need to help combat the overindulgence we are all prone to during the holidays.
Remember Your Why
I don’t know about you, but I so easily forget my reasons for eating cleaner when it’s 1 am and I want a milkshake. (I’m a late-night snacker.) So I started wearing a hair tie around my wrist as a visual cue to remind myself why I want to eat cleaner and how much better I have been feeling since starting. The visual cue helps keep my goals insight in a very concrete and physical way.
Hungry or Bored?
My late-night snacking is probably due more to the fact that I am bored than I am hungry. Of course, it might be because of my ADHD, and I find myself munching on something as a form of stimming, but whatever the case, it’s usually just because I’m bored. Thanks to my therapist, I am finding healthy ways to stim when parked behind my desk for work.
Drink more water. Don’t substitute water for meals. But I bet a big reason you are feeling hungrier than you are is that you aren’t drinking enough water. I bought myself a fancy bottle of water, and I now drink four of them a day. And it has honestly made a world of difference. It took a while to make it a habit, though. ADHD strikes again. Things out of sight are 100% out of mind, so I had to set four alarms throughout the day as a reminder to drink the rest of my bottle and refill it.
One of the biggest things that can wreck weight loss journeys is alcohol. Not only can it be excess calories, but it can also lower your willpower. I know I’ve never made my best decisions while drinking. (I once ordered four large pizzas for myself after a night of drinking with the boys.) But it would be best if you didn’t stop yourself from enjoying a drink or two. You are an adult, after all, and it’s one of the few legal vices that make dealing with holidays easier.
The Holidays Can Be Tricky
There is something about going back home for the holidays that can make you revert to being a teenager. There are so many triggers during the holidays that can set you off and ruin whatever progress in your weight loss journey. And there is nothing more disappointing than having to start over after what feels like failing yourself after the holidays. Do yourself a favor and remember that you’re human, and life is a journey. Don’t beat yourself up and enjoy all the delicious food. As my Tia always said to me as a kid, “Everything in moderation.”
And if you don’t want to wait for the New Year to set gym goals, learn more about getting started in the gym.