It’s December and a shortbread cookie has already jumped into my mouth. True story. I believe that Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster character was based on me and my love of cookies. As I write this, I know there are people baking up a storm getting ready for the holiday season. It is a time of good cheer and intense calorie consumption. I am sorry for raining on the parade but that is the truth. For this year, I am proposing that we make a pact to get through this season by eating/drinking less and enjoying the days just as much or even more. It is possible. It takes planning and staying true to the healthy practices that we use for the other 11 months of the year.
Here are some ideas that can help you get through:
- If you’re someone who uses the scale get on it right now. Write the number you see on a piece of paper with a big marker and tape it up in a place you will see it regularly. Make a few copies if you need to. Put one on the fridge, the bathroom mirror, and the dashboard of your car. Your goal is that number will be the same when the holiday season winds down for you. Choose a date today to weigh yourself again.
- Get out the calendar and plan times to exercise all the way through the season. Make dates with friends to walk, jog, ski, snowshoe, skate or whatever it is that you won’t necessarily do when you’re on your own.
- Don’t let yourself get really hungry. We tend to overeat when we get overly hungry. Get fruits and vegetables into you first. By doing this you’re setting yourself up to make better decisions.
- If you wear a fitness tracker set a daily step goal. Be reasonable about it. If you’re sitting in the car for hours adjust your goal to a number that you can achieve. Set yourself up for success.
- This will be a pain, but make a commitment to tracking every calorie that you put in your mouth. One trick is first thing in the morning write down everything you plan to eat throughout the day and then adjust as needed when you go through the day.
This can be a very stressful time of the year. Arm yourself with a couple of these tools. Start thinking about it now before the momentum takes in you in an unhealthy direction. Let’s check in January to see how it all worked out.
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