The holiday season is upon us, I feel like there our treats and drinks everywhere I go, and I see the what the hell effect already, by what people are saying to me.

I don’t think any food or drink should be off limits, because for most putting a food off limits only makes us want it more, right? For years I went around thinking I had to eat perfectly or all was blown.

It has taken a lot of practice for me to get over thinking I had eat perfectly, I’m still not perfect. For me I make my famous Christmas cookies, or at least they are famous to my family, LOL!

I would go the whole month of December making them, and not having any, not even one. Until finally Christmas Day came, and I would be feeling so deprived I would over indulge. Like eat them all day long, and then feel terrible, from the sugar crash.

I would beat myself up, talking bad to myself, saying things like I was weak, and I was not strong enough, or good enough, you name it I said it to myself.

Now I take a different approach, like I did at Thanksgiving making my pumpkin, muffins, shakes, and cakes, and the yummy pudding all month, and having one a day, or post workout.

Guess what no weight gain, and come Thanksgiving I did not feel the need to over indulge, no cravings, etc…feels so much better to me.

I’m here to tell you from years of experience, with the all or nothing mindset, and the what the hell effect, it does NOT work.

Yep! I had the perfectionist mindset, otherwise I was off plan.

I have found as I have gotten older, and once I hit menopause at 50, I need to stay consistent, with my eating and exercise. Because as we age it becomes harder and harder to take off that fat we gain year after year.

All the sugar, processed food and to much alcohol disrupts our hormones, and our sleep. We all know what happens when we don’t get enough sleep, the cravings, the less than optimal food choices.

If I don’t sleep well, it really does make it harder to eat, my fibrous veggies, and protein, instead my mind wants, and craves comfort food, as in more starchy, and more surgery foods and drinks.

Isn’t it crazy to do the same thing over and over again but yet expect a different result? I did it for years….

Yep, I have been there, and I don’t know what I was thinking. Gaining and losing the same ten pounds year after year was much harder than just maintaining my weight.

I know for some the holidays causes a lot of stress and anxiety, with how to navigate parties, extra financial burden, peer pressure, when you might say you don’t want to eat or drink something.

All the treats and drinks that seem to be everywhere we go.

If we think we are missing out on something, then we will want to eat, or drink to much, even if we really do not want it or are full.

Our minds control everything, what do we think we will be missing out on?

For me to feel my best, I really do love to eat my normal foods. But I will eat something special on Christmas Eve, we buy a really special wine that I love, and I savor every sip.

Christmas Day, I will have homemade manicotti but it might only be a few bites of them as special treat, and I’m also making miracle noodles. (I’m trying to stay gluten free for my thyroid, with Hashimoto, it is hard.) I do love the miracle noodles, and I can still have the shrimp, on Christmas eve, and my sauce on Christmas Day.

Funny how I don’t do pasta all year long, so hmm do I need to get my mind around this…not having the homemade manicotti on Christmas Day?

Strategies to stay on track during the holidays

  1. Plan on eating the treats, but be mindful, savor every bite. If you have one christmas cookie, but not the whole sleeve isn’t that a win?
  2. Don’t put anything off limits in your mind, but pay attention to your choices, sit down and eat mindfully.
  3. Stop eating when it no longer tastes amazing to you, sometimes we only need a few bites.
  4. Get enough quality sleep during the holidays, really anytime. When we are tired, our food choices really go out the window. Also very important just a few nights of moderate sleep deprivation makes you significantly more resistant to the action of insulin, which means weight loss will be much more challenging, as well. Prioritize SLEEP, this one thing is huge, for how we feel, and our choices, it is a physiological thing, not just a feel good thing.
  5. Have a regular bed time routine, food choices go out the window when we don’t prioritize sleep and lower our stress.
  6. Start your day with a fat loss friendly breakfast, to me would be a good quality protein, fibrous veggies, maybe berries, a good fat, and fiber. Hold the starchy carbs for dinner and better sleep. This will help your energy, cravings, and hormones. If we are not constantly hungry, or battling cravings everything gets easier.
  7. Most people when they start their day off with a high quality fat loss friendly breakfast make better choices through out the rest of the day.
  8. Exercise, people who have a normal exercise routine usually make better food choices.
  9. Manage your Stress, walk, yoga, anything that makes YOU feel less stressed.
  10. Keep to your regular schedule as much as possible, sleep, exercise, fun time, sleep time.
  11. One meal is not going to break you, just go back on track at your next meal, try not to have that what the hell effect and eat anything and everything out of control through the whole holiday season.

What will you do if you go off track? Do you have an accountability partner or friend to help you stay accountable, and on track? Even someone you can call, or take walks with, or meet at the gym, if you belong to one.

I know for me this past summer, I indulged in way to much wine, I know I told this before, maybe in my newsletter. But for me health is a big motivator, all my blood work came out great except my Ha1C, that is a marker for blood sugar an average over 3 months…I want mine lower I thought even though in range, what the heck…I believe to much indulgence and sugar from way to much wine…

Not my normal thing either, lesson learned I hope. I felt bloated, and tired, and awful to. I thought it would lower the stress I was having at the time, but it did not. Plus it disrupted my sleep, plus alcohol cuts fat burning and raises estrogen levels, my doctor said.

She always asks me at my check-up which she did in October. How much wine are you drinking ? Also takes from your bones….that is why she keeps and eye on me,

Let’s all have a great, relaxing holiday season with loved ones and friends, and eating moderately, and maintaining our weight.

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