by Pavlina Cavojska, Holistic Nutritionist & Weight Loss Specialist
The holiday season is upon us, Christmas is just around the corner and we who live in this North American culture – the holiday parties, social gatherings, and culture – find ourselves staring down the face of food and drink often in overabundance.
I just wanted to take a minute here and offer some perspective to all of you who are navigating this season with the ongoing commitment to lead a healthy lifestyle. Whether it is a commitment to choose less processed food, lower alcohol intake, include x number of servings of vegetables into your daily routine, avoid processed sugar, drink plenty of water, etc….with a little effort we can stay focused on making the best choices we can to continue leading a healthy lifestyle.
We are all facing a challenge at this time of year that might be feared by many…..how do we stay on track? …Let’s embrace the challenge this year and set a new pattern of behaviour that will take us 1 step closer to our goal, let’s practice new behaviours together for an easier future.
To figure out what THE best approach for times like this is for YOU, you first have to find the answer to this question:
“Am I a Moderator or Am I an Abstainer?”
For some people restricting certain foods is not always fun but for some, it is actually easier to avoid all rather than to try to moderate their intake.
As an example: “Oh, I already had a small bag of chips, so I might as well finish the ice cream in the freezer now and start again 100% tomorrow.” … sound familiar?
That kind of approach would be considered the Abstainer – with the all or nothing attitude… It is exhausting for them to continually debate the thoughts in their head like “Do I have it today or tomorrow?” or “How much should I have?” or “I have been in the gym, don’t I deserve it?”
Therefore the best approach for the Abstainer is to abstain from all the deviations from their original plan. Whatever boundaries you have set for yourself in the past, you will need to remind yourself (meditation works great) of your commitment each and every morning and plan for keeping your routine (practically making sure you have your own foods at arm’s length).
The moderator on the other hand, have a general sense of what is moderate for them or they set rules for themselves. Like “I will have 1 drink when I am invited out to a party, but I won’t have any drinks at home.” They are able to have some, feel satisfied and it is easy for them not to overindulge.
Moderators will say, that having a little bit of something makes them want it less.
If you are a moderator, a small treat here and there will go a long way for you.
Here are some tips for all to navigate with ease through the holidays:
- Get sufficient amount of sleep.
- Keep yourself well hydrated. Having a glass of water in between drinks will slow down alcohol consumption, or between meals to keep your hunger signals at bay.
- Resist the urge to skimp on calories by skipping breakfast – a lean source of protein and good quality fat with either veggies or piece of fruit will go a long way to stabilize your blood sugar level and prevent the urge to overeat later in the day.
- If you are planning to treat yourself, see what is out there that you would love to try, get a small plate out and place 1 small piece of each item on the plate ahead of time. Accept that this will be all the treats that you will have for the day. This way there will be no room left for the little voice in your head to negotiate whether or not to have more…
- Make a commitment every day to go outside to get fresh air, connect with nature and at the same time to get some blood flowing through your veins through more movement. Not only is movement good for your heart and mind it will help keep your metabolism up.
Regardless of where on our journey we are at, let’s see if we can create the warmth, the sparkle, the fabulousness that we are really aching for durning this holiday by practicing gratitude daily, by engaging and creating human connection with our friends, loved ones and the strangers we pass by, by showing up and being fully present to be of service to people that we are around durning the holiday season, and see if at the end of the day, when we put our head on the pillow, if we are not bursting out of every cell of our body with this eternal bliss! …let’ just see…
Happy holidays and cheers to you for continuing to make the best choices you can for your healthy lifestyle!
To connect with Pavlina to discuss your nutrition and weight loss issues and goals you can email her at iwellnesspath.ca or call 905-623-9232 to schedule a consult.