The holidays are my favorite time of year. I absolutely love Christmas music, snowflake decorations and of course snow! (Living in FL gave me a whole new appreciation for snow!)
I’m sure I’m not the only one, but the holidays are also a time of indulgence… oh how I love the cookie exchanges and the 17 holiday parties to attend. At least Pinterest has made it a lot easier to find healthier cookie versions (check out this dessert recipe I stumbled across today, doesn’t it sound amazing?).
Did I mention that I love cookies?
I’ve made a promise to myself that this year I will not overindulge. I have big goals for Houston and it is only two weeks after the holidays so living on sugar cookies isn’t an option this Christmas. I can’t risk putting on a few pounds a couple weeks before a race I’m bound and determined to PR at. Especially when I can go for losing a handful of pounds.
I think the biggest thing is moderation. Cutting yourself off from all the gooey deliciousness known as dessert during this time of year is pretty much impossible, considering that everyone is indulging around you and of course they pressure you to eat bad too… they want to make sure you can feel as guilty as they do, right?
Here are some of my favorite tips for taking control of the holidays to make sure you don’t overeat:
- Drink water. I’m sure you’ve seen this 2,569 times that if you drink water, it will make you feel fuller and for zero calories. Water is great for many reasons and this is definitely one of them. And, I feel like when I drink water, I am so much healthier… it’s so much harder to pour yourself a big glass of water and grab a big bag of Sour Patch Kids (<– my chosen I’m having a terrible no good day and need to drown my sorrows in sugar candy)
- Ask yourself. This is one of my favorite techniques for cutting down on mindless eating. I eat when I’m bored and stressed. I know this. But I still do it. I’ve found that when I’m headed to the kitchen or reaching for seconds, asking myself “am I really hungry?” helps. It makes you think twice about why you are grabbing that food.
- Control your portions. The whole not overindulging comes down to willpower and a mental battle. If you’re anything like me, you try to justify that extra piece of cookie… Well, this is the only cookie I’ll eat today and then tomorrow I won’t have any! And plus I’m running! And it’s only 16 days before Christmas! I deserve a cookie! And if I don’t get one now, I won’t have one later. Besides, I’m going to eat it at some point so what’s the difference… STOP. Seriously. Ask someone to split the cookie with you, or if you know that if you have one bite, you won’t be able to stop… avoid it all together. Walk away. Start thinking about your other goals and the cookie won’t taunt you as much.
- Count your calories. I love My Fitness Pal and it’s such a great way to track your progress if you are trying to reach a goal. I tracked my calories for about two months earlier this fall and ended up losing 6 pounds! It keeps you accountable and well if you know that you have to report it, aren’t likely to grab that second piece of pie. But in order for this to work, it needs to be 100% true. You are only lying to yourself if you “forget” to add something.
- Reward yourself. If you tell yourself absolutely no sweets, no candy, no etc., it makes it just that much harder. Give yourself a mini reward for meeting a goal… like a handful of M&Ms after dinner or split a scoop of ice cream with a friend. Just make sure it stays small and only a once in awhile thing… like maybe Sunday is your day to have one special treat.
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