The holidays are a time where it is so much fun to indulge. But it can also be stressful if you have food allergies, want to stay healthy, or just want to feel good.
So where is the line? How much is too much?
There are two lines, actually…
One line is what you want to happen.
The other line is what Actually happens.
And we are all different here. Some of us want to eat perfectly over the holidays. Some of us want to really enjoy the fun food, but not get sick, binge, gain 10 pounds, or stimulate our autoimmune disease.
How well we achieve the line that we want, depends on how well we set ourselves up for success.
One year I muscled my way through eating NO sugar throughout the holiday season. I was so exhausted by the time I got to Christmas, that I ate way too much sugar all through January. I may as well have just eaten some with everyone else! It would have been way more fun. Finding a reasonable line is so important!
Some things to think about:
• Where is the line that you want to walk? What would that look like? Does it have flexibility, or does it feel disordered?
• If your heart starts beating faster when you think of that line, there is too much willpower involved to keep it. We don’t have enough willpower to last the whole holiday season. It needs to be easy. (And sometimes we need to change our definition of easy.)
• Where are your weak points? Holiday parties? Work? Food gifts? Your own baking?
• What can you do to set yourself up for inevitable success?
• Eat healthy, delicious food every day. But make sure it is delicious!! This should be your staple.
• Before you go to a holiday party, eat a balanced meal of delicious, healthy food. This will stabilize your blood sugar, fill your stomach, and the food won’t look quite so tempting. If you do eat sugar, eating it on a full stomach slows the impact on your blood sugar.
• If you have allergies, bring food that you can eat.
• Know your boundaries. You don’t have to eat ANYTHING that you don’t want to. For example: I pretty much NEVER eat gluten or eggs. Ever! You don’t want me to. It doesn’t even require self control – because I made that decision years ago. But a few nuts or dairy here and there – I can’t go crazy, but it will be ok.
• If you do eat food that you wish you didn’t – don’t feel guilty! You didn’t just cheat on your spouse or anything… And feeling guilty actually leads us to just give in and eat more. Not helpful! Just go with it, drink plenty of water, and eat healthy food after that.