Trick Or Treat!
The holidays are fast approaching. It’s the time for get-togethers and parties. Which inevitably means the time for eating! And typically the eating is with not so healthy foods. Or maybe more food than you would generally eat. The holidays are infamous for weight gain. We also often think of treats as being food related. However you can treat yourself with non-food related rewards. In fact giving yourself non-food related rewards helps to develop positive connections to positive behaviors.
Managing the holidays while trying to lose weight can be challenging, but here are some tricks and treats to help you stay on track:
Bring a healthy dish to share:
By bringing a healthy dish for everyone to enjoy, including yourself, you can set yourself up for success. Even if the host tells you to not bring anything, still bring something you know you can eat. Before attending holiday gatherings, check the menu or ask about the food options. This will allow you to plan what to bring.
Eat before you go:
Have a nutritious meal that includes protein, veggies, and healthy fats before you head to the party. This will help you feel full and satisfied, reducing the temptation to overindulge on unhealthy treats.
Drink non-alcoholic beverages:
Drinking enough water can help you feel fuller and curb your appetite. Stay hydrated throughout the day, especially before attending gatherings. If you don’t want to stand out as the one person not drinking, have sparkling water with a lime in a cocktail glass. You can also add some of the Ideal Protein water enhancers to your mock-tail
Have healthy snacks available:
Bring a couple extra protein bars in your bag. When the desert tray comes out, have a healthy protein bar instead. Even if it’s an extra snack for the day, it’s still better than eating a high carb, high caloric desert.
Choose healthier options at the party:
Scan the food options at the party and look for healthier choices. Opt for vegetables and lean proteins. Fill your plate with these options first before considering higher-calorie treats.
Watch portion sizes:
If you decide to partake in some of the holiday foods, be mindful of portion sizes. Use smaller plates and practice portion control to avoid overeating.
Choose the foods you truly enjoy and indulge in moderation. Prioritize healthier options like lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit high-calorie treats.
Practice mindful eating:
Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Eat slowly, savor each bite, and focus on the flavors and textures of your food. This can help prevent overeating
Engage in conversation and activities:
Instead of focusing solely on the food, engage in conversations with others or participate in activities at the party. This can help distract you from mindless eating and reduce the desire to overeat.
Maintain your exercise routine during the holidays. Physical activity can help offset some of the extra calories consumed and boost your mood.
The holidays can be stressful, which may affect your eating habits. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, exercising, or spending time with loved ones.
Now for the treats! As mentioned above, rewarding yourself for positive behavior allows your brain to develop a positive feedback loop to that behavior. This will reinforce your brain to want to continue with the new behavior. This is how we learn and develop healthy habits.
- Spa day: Treat yourself to a massage, facial, or a relaxing spa treatment.
- Movie night: Enjoy a movie night at home or go to the cinema to watch a film you’ve been wanting to see.
- Personal pampering: Take a bubble bath, do your nails, or try out a new skincare routine.
- Shopping: Buy yourself something you’ve had your eye on, whether it’s a new outfit, accessories, or a gadget you’ve been wanting.
- Fitness-related rewards: Invest in new workout gear, enroll in a fitness class you’ve been interested in, or hire a personal trainer for a session.
- Book or magazine: Purchase a new book or magazine that interests you, and take some time to relax and enjoy reading it.
- Outdoor activity: Plan a day trip to explore nature, go for a hike, visit a botanical garden, or enjoy a picnic in a scenic spot.
- Hobby-related treats: Buy new art supplies, craft materials, or equipment for a hobby you enjoy, or take a class to learn a new skill.
- Relaxation time: Set aside dedicated time for self-care activities like meditation, yoga, or listening to your favorite music.
- Time with loved ones: Plan a get-together with friends or family, organize a game night, or go on a fun outing together.
The key is to choose rewards that align with your interests and bring you joy. Rewarding yourself with non-food treats can help you stay motivated on your journey while promoting overall well-being.