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It’s the holiday season and for most of us, it is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time when family and friends get together to eat and celebrate. Most of us have our favorite holiday memories and traditions. I still remember my childhood Christmas memories. The family times spent together with my extended family, the warmth and love we received and the delicious food we ate. No matter how we celebrate the holidays, most of our festivities revolve around food. If you are on a diet or have chosen to make healthier food choices, your willpower is very much tested during this time of the year! It is not easy keeping up with the right food choices due to all the delicious temptations around us at holiday parties and at stores selling all those delicious cookies, chocolate, peppermint bark, and other delicious gift items. It’s not easy, but it can be done.
How can you still enjoy the holidays without turning down party invitations or falling off the diet wagon?
Sticking to healthy food choices usually depend on various reasons, but I think the why or the goal, willpower, and ability to plan have helped me the most.
The why, or the goal.
The reason why you started the healthy habits. Was it to lose weight? Weight loss was never a reason enough for me to stick to my healthy eating habits and exercise routine. I would say, “I’ll eat these cookies today, after all, I’m at a party, and tomorrow I will go to the gym and burn the calories”. I found that there had to be another underlying reason for me to stick to my diet. Mine was to be pain-free and energetic. This is what motivated me to make long-term healthy choices and eventually, the back and the pelvic pain went away and I got my energy and mental focus back. The bonus was that my seasonal allergy symptoms went away too. This was beyond weight loss. It was a life change, a reason big enough to stick to my healthy food choices and exercise routine.
What is your goal? Why are you changing your eating habits and choosing a healthier path?
Whatever your goal is, it will determine what choices you make this holiday season.
The ability to make the right healthy choice when presented with various options most ofthem not so healthy ones. I found out that when I was hungry or tired, my willpower toresist unhealthy food was much lower. I would mindlessly eat a whole bag of chips or ahuge bowl of ice cream. When I started on the keto zone diet, my willpower was verymuch tested for a couple of days, but fortunately, it got stronger and stronger as I adapted a few practical things to help me stick to my diet.
I have been on the keto zone diet for several months now, I have reached my weight goal, but I still continue to stick to the diet. Due to the nature of the diet, I don’t have food cravings, my taste buds are no longer addicted to bread and sweets, and now I can say it takes less willpower to stick to my healthy food choices. I have noticed that I can have a small piece of cake at a party and still be okay. This is mainly because my body has
adapted to burning fat for fuel, and a small piece of cake is not enough carbs to kick me out of ketosis as long as I stay below my keto carb limit for the day.
Ability to plan.
The most difficult thing for me to adapt was meal planning. Before getting on the keto zone diet, I would eat whatever was available when I got hungry. Most of the time, I thought I made healthy food choices, but the food was loaded with high carbs that worked against my health goals. Having ready to eat keto friendly meals helps me stay within my macros.
During the holiday season, schedules often become hectic, and planning ahead helps you make the right decisions when confronted with food temptations. For example, I don’t go shopping when I’m hungry. I usually eat before I leave the house and I bring a snack and a bottle of water, or bulletproof coffee. This keeps me from buying some candy, a bag of chips or making unplanned fast food stops.
These few lifestyle changes have helped me make healthy food choices, not just during the holiday season but throughout the year.
With that said, life is not always perfect. We may know our goal, exercise our willpower and plan ahead, but still, choose to eat those cookies, chips, candy, cake etc.. Its not the end of the world. One day of indulging will not make a big difference in the big scheme of things. Your body might feel awful from all the unhealthy food, you might even gain a few pounds but tomorrow is a new day. You can reset and continue making healthy choices.
What changes are you willing to adopt this holiday season to NOT fall off the healthy food wagon?