It is never too early to create a plan to build willpower and practice waypower for your holiday eating, especially if your desire is to weather the season feeling your best and without unreasonable weight gain.
These 10 tips may serve as a thoughtful steps through the challenges that come during the most food-seductive time of year.
1. For the months of November, December and January, mark the days on your calendar for “free eating” - a time to enjoy eating whatever you want.
2. When sugar cravings are especially high during the holidays, turn to protein: eat protein every 3 hours.
3. This is the time of year when exercise routines are often disrupted, so plan shorter workouts such as 10 minutes of walking, complete 20 squats, do a 20-count of plank, or 10 sit ups. I like calisthenics because I can break up the exercise routine throughout the day and still receive the benefits.
4. In early December make an appointment for after January 15th to meet with a friend for a walk, see a nutritionist or exercise person of choice and start a new routine. By mid-January you’ll know what your goals are for the New Year and will be open to assistance and ready for action.
5. Include on your gift list a fitness band (a step-tracker, or other similar device) along with time from a tech savvy family member or friend to assist you in setting up the gadget. Fitbit and Jawbone are two programs that I have observed as really excellent, but there are others as well. Don’t forget: walking 10,000 steps a day changes health. This level of movement prevents diabetes, improves the quality of most sleeping and supports positive mental health. Increasing your daily movement will be far easier than you might imagine, when using one of these convenient programs.
6. Commit to eating a protein-rich breakfast daily.
7. Consider purchasing a full spectrum light for where you eat breakfast. It is a less expensive alternative is buying a full spectrum lightbulb for a lamp you already have.
8. Be outside at least 10 minutes a day, even on rainy or cloudy days.
9. Thoroughly enjoy food that you are eating, regardless of what it is. Stop to notice the taste, color, texture, and what you really like about it. Don’t feel guilty; guilt comes with no benefits. Have a plan to get your eating back on track the next day.
10. If you are tired, try a 20- to 40-minute nap.
For more Waypower ideas, check out our Holiday book, Surviving the Holidays, available on Amazon.