5 Steps to Get Back on Track after Thanksgiving and Stay on Track Until Christmas

anh-nguyen-513458-unsplash.jpg

It happens every year. November rolls around and we think, how are we here again already?! For some of us, food isn’t a second thought, but for others it runs much deeper. Holidays are filled with festivities that revolve around food and for nearly five weeks straight, most of those foods have added ingredients that we tend to shy away from throughout the rest of the year. With all those uncommon, added ingredients comes a constant back and forth of “I know I shouldn’t eat this, but I want to.” It’s like the food in November and December have a magnetic pull that draws us in by emotion and sweet holiday aroma. We love it, but we also hate it because . . . IT LASTS FOR FIVE WEEKS AND OUR PANTS DON’T FIT.

Let’s chat for a second about what we can do, starting today, for the next five weeks so that we don’t lose control of our emotions or our waistlines.

  1. Cut out all refined sugars that don’t mean anything. (But really . . . is there a sugar that doesn’t mean anything?) Here’s what I mean. You have a month’s worth of holiday festivities that will most likely be filled with lots of your favorite treats that only come around once a year. You do not have to indulge at every single party. Take a look at the next month and choose 1 or 2 festivities that you want to participate in fully and enjoy those. But then, stay committed to saying no to the rest of them by not eating mindless spoonfuls of Christmas candies when you’re at a party that maybe doesn’t mean as much to you as another party anyway. Spoiler alert: You can say no to the candied almonds and pass on dessert. Nobody is going to hunt you down.

  2. Throw out all of the pies from Thanksgiving. (But . . . I spent a lot of money on those pies and there are still about 4 slices left . . . and pie is good for breakfast in December!) No. You spent the money, the pie was good, but now Thanksgiving is over. Donate your leftovers or toss them in the trash. It was good while it lasted, but it doesn’t need to keep lasting. There’s no point in eating handfuls of sugar when there are no people around to enjoy it with you. That’s part of the fun of allowing yourself to indulge . . . doing it with people who also deeply enjoy healthfully feasting with you. When they’re not around, you’re most likely just eating to eat and that’s where emotions can get messy. Let’s just make a decision ahead of ourselves and all throw out the leftover pie.

  3. Drink extra water in December. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces of water on a daily basis, but this month your body might need a little bit more. You’re probably eating more than you’re not used to and your body just needs a little extra boost getting things out of your system. Water is the number one nutrient that your body needs for overall health, so give it a little extra this month. If you’re feeling really fancy, shoot for 1 gallon a day. That’s what I will be doing.

  4. Stop taking useless supplements. If you’re not used to taking supplements, don’t decided this month that you’re going to take 7 zillion different kinds in hopes of detoxing the body and getting extra nutrients to balance out the cake and cookies. The majority of our nutrients should come from eating real, raw food and when we are doing that, the body already knows how to detox. By eliminating refined sugars and other common allergens like gluten, dairy, grains, eggs, etc . . . your body has the space and energy to work as it should, while detoxing as it should. These tweaks will help you feel better and save you money! Don’t allow good supplement adds to suck you in this month. There are valid ones out there that will be good for some people, but ask yourself if it’s something you can accomplish with real food and meal prepping before you spend a bunch of money on supplements that may not be working anyway.

  5. Move your body. For 20 minutes a day, minimum, do something active. It can be a walk outside, on the treadmill, playing with your kids, attending a workout class, etc. . . Exercise doesn’t have to be an hour in the gym every day killing it, in hopes of attacking every calorie that went into your body this week. Your body doesn’t need to be treated so harshly or out of balance. Plus, your hormones are effected by rigorous workouts that are not in your normal routine, and can honestly cause more harm than good. If you want to workout more, or workout harder, then gradually work yourself up to it. If you’re busy and have trouble finding time to work out at all, just make a pact with yourself to put your phone down for 20 minutes and go outside for a walk around the block. This will be very good for your body and it will help to clear your mind!

Thanksgiving and Christmas are wonderful holidays to celebrate. They’re two of my favorite ones all year long. If there’s something in the kitchen that you want to treat yourself to, while everyone else is enjoying the same treat, try not to let yourself feel guilty for having fun. I know it can be hard. Trust me, I still have my moments, but then I tell myself there’s a time in life to feast . . . it’s all over the bible. Feasting is a wonderful part of life and celebrating and remembering. This is a very wonderful time of year and my hope and prayer is that when you do choose to splurge, you enjoy it fully, let it go afterwards and continue to stay right on track, giving your body the nutrients it needs. Your body was created to detox and heal itself everyday and a couple of indulgent meals will not ruin all of your goals for 2018. You’ve got this.