The holidays can be a tough time to practice self-care. The season is all at once chaotic, joyful, overwhelming, and indulgent. Maintaining a routine and finding balance sometimes feel nearly impossible. This is especially true for a healthy diet—it’s the first to go, and more often than not, we wait until the New Year to re-establish healthy eating habits. But what if that wait didn’t even have to exist? We can choose to be as healthy and fit as we want to be, 365 days a year. Let’s start by practicing mindful eating with just three guiding principles.
Here are my three tested tips for healthy holiday eating.
The first step to mindful eating during the holidays is remembering that you are in control of your body and your choices. You have the power to say no and to say yes. It’s when we fail to exercise our ability to choose that we get swept away by the myriad of options (albeit delicious) that present themselves during the holidays; that includes endless treats, sweet drinks, and rich feasts. As human beings and social creatures, we have been taught that saying no is somehow rude or disruptive to the status quo, but saying no allows us to say yes to what we really want (see tip 2). So, if you want to eat healthfully through the holiday season, remember, the choice is yours, you have the power!
The second tip for healthy holiday eating is learning to prioritize. Ask yourself, what events would be more enjoyable with a sweet treat in hand. I suggest taking a look at your calendar in advance and picking those events. This is about giving yourself active permission to indulge as opposed to eating on autopilot. With that said, if your heart desires a cookie on an off-night, you can make an exception, as long as you do so in moderation.
This concept of prioritizing is about learning to say yes with gusto while keeping your health goals in mind. I have found that once you apply this mindful approach to your diet, you gain a better sense of what you actually want, and as a result, are able to actively decide when you do or do not want to indulge. To learn more about mindful eating, check out this article by Harvard Health.
3. Set yourself up for success
The final key to healthy eating over the holidays is setting yourself up for success. This means stocking your fridge with nutritious food (see the 13 superfoods I suggest my clients eat), hydrating, and continuing to move and strengthen your body.
At Every Mother, we understand that it can feel like there’s not enough time in the day for self-care, but as Michelle Obama so aptly said, “When I get up and work out, I’m working out just as much for my girls as I am for me because I want them to see a mother who loves them dearly, who invests in them, but who also invests in herself.”
As a mother, you are deserving of self-care and love, and you should make yourself a priority. This is why we created the EMbody Program – designed to support you through every phase of motherhood and to help you achieve measurable results in 10-30 minutes a day.