Side note – I am allowed to say y’all because I was born in Alabama and lived in Mississippi and Georgia for a while too…
It’s fall, the greatest season of the year. Right? I love fall more than summer and spring! To be honest though, winter is actually my favorite season because I live in south Florida which means that I don’t really have “winter,” I have fall from October to April basically. What a whirlwind of a fall it has already been! I live in a town that is seasonal so all the northern snow-birds are making their way back to Florida for the winter season so things are starting to pick up speed around here! We have already lived through the Halloween season and now we’re onto Thanksgiving! Some like to jump the gun right after Halloween and go straight to Christmas but I’m focusing on Thanksgiving. The holiday of food gluttony!
Thanksgiving & Christmas are coming up which means cookies, cakes, pies, candy, sweets, mountains of gravy, potatoes, cranberries… holy cow my mouth is watering thinking of all of that right now! I love Thanksgiving because I love turkey and gravy and potatoes and green bean casserole… okay I seriously have to stop! I didn’t start my health journey last year until after Christmas so I completely gave into all the food gluttony during the holidays! I am determined to not to have another tough holiday season.
What am I planning to do to combat the enormous amounts of food that are always made during this time? I’ll outline some of my tips & tricks for getting through the holiday season of food
- Make your plans so you can leave time for exercise.
- This might make you go… DUH! With the holidays, we all tend to get just a little bit “busier” than we are on a normal basis. We have parties to go to, family to visit, get togethers, services, etc. that all seem to stack together during the months of November and December every year. It is absolutely crucial that you don’t put exercise on your back burner. Don’t treat exercise as an “if I have time, I’ll try to squeeze it in…” Make it a priority! Don’t allow yourself to go out with friends unless you exercise that day. Do something; even something as simple as walking for 30 minutes. Clean out your garage (I did that today for some weight lifting), take your dogs on an extra long walk. Do something that gets your heart rate up for 20-30 minutes. Exercise goes a long way in helping combat sweet tooth desires!
- Find ways to eat your own healthy foods
- If you’re anything like me, our Thanksgiving is never just myself and my husband. We usually have aunts, uncles, parents, siblings, etc. that we have a meal (or two) with. Sometimes the cooking is out of your control. Find out from your host if you can bring something with you that you’ve made yourself to share with others. You can then choose to make a healthy option just in case there isn’t anything healthy for you. Load up on your dish! Maybe find out if you can help provide side dishes for the main course so you can bring along some healthy options. Remember not to be rude and pushy though because your host has worked hard to provide food for everyone.
- When bringing your own healthy foods isn’t an option, load up on the healthiest options there are available
- Sometimes you just aren’t in a situation where you can provide or bring your own food to an event. So, what do you do in this case? You regroup and figure out what your options for food are. Load up on the vegetables! Try to stay away from breads/heavy carbs and stay away from fried items. Pull out every piece of self-control that you possibly have and try to refrain from eating multiple pieces of sweets. Try to limit yourself as much as possible. Trust me, you can do it!
- Drink LOTS and LOTS of water!
- Even when you don’t think you can drink any more water, DRINK SOME MORE! Your body will be less hungry if your stomach is full of water, fact. Drink your water. Strive to drink between 80-100 ounces of water a day. That may seem like a lot but before every meal, drink a full glass of water, this will not only keep you hydrated but it is actually proven to help curb how much you eat at a meal. Drinking water will help you slow down your eating and you will actually eat less. Sounds great, right?
- If sweets are your weak spot, load up on healthy sweets.
- Find some healthy recipes for some healthy sweet treats to keep in your house. Try to avoid a lot of processed/added sugars (i.e. white sugar, cane sugar, artificial sugars). Pick up a bag of natural coconut sugar which is all natural sugar and use that in place of regular sugar for baking. Use lots of fresh fruits in your desserts so you can benefit from the natural sugars in fruits. Also, be sure to be conscious of how many treats you are making and keeping around your house. If you have a hard time just having one cookie or one piece of a cake/pie, maybe consider freezing items so you have to wait a little bit for the next piece to thaw. Or… maybe just keep them out of your sight 🙂
These are just some small ways to help tame the sugar beast that rears it’s ugly head every holiday season. Sweets are SUCH a hard temptation for me because I absolutely love them! I’m already working on my “sweet treat” list for the holidays and I’ll be happy to share some of my list!
Until next time…