You’ve been killing it since you first set out to reach your current goals. Your inflammation is down, your joints don’t hurt, your digestion is on point, and your weight is finally at a level where you feel comfortable. All of this is due to your hard work, your commitment to eat clean and care for your body. Now the real challenge comes: the dreaded holiday season. The word holiday is not supposed to be preceded by the word dread, but it is for so many of us. Sometimes it feels impossible to not spiral backwards due to the endless social engagement, the family dinners, the stress that comes with the end of the year, and the egg nog (all of the egg nog). Here’s how you’re going to make it through and not derail your progress:
“Now the real challenge comes: the dreaded holiday season.”
Enjoy the good stuff- Yes, you heard right. I know you weren’t expecting to read the word enjoy to start this article, but hear me out. Health is all about moderation. It’s the key to having your favorite stuff in a guilt free way and maintaining both mental and physical health. The problem with taking a moderate approach is that it can quickly become your way of justifying an entire pie because you had a salad last Tuesday (unless that’s just me?). It takes planning and discipline.
The best way to approach this during December is to look at your social calendar and pick a pre-planned number of events that are special to you for some reason and decide to have whatever you want, guilt free. Guilt from a previous transgression is often what leads us down the wrong path. Say you went to a party on Saturday planning to be “good”, meaning you’re going to try and deprive yourself. You started out munching only on the veggie tray, but then decided one drink would be fine. One drink had you craving another (peppermint martinis, am I right?). Next thing you know, you’re asking your Uber driver to pull through whataburger at midnight. Okay fine, but the next day you feel like you’ve messed up anyway and should probably eat the taquitos that you didn’t get to last night because you fell asleep. Then this decision making carries over continually, all because of one infraction.
“Guilt from a previous transgression is often what leads us down the wrong path.”
Instead, why not have a night of guilt free indulgence on something way better than fast food. For me, I’m choosing two events this year. Christmas dinner with my family involves my mother’s famous mac n cheese. I’m talking about the best cheese to noodle ratio of all time here (so worth it). Plus, there will be delicious boozy hot chocolate and my grandmother’s delicious pies. I’ll be having so much that I don’t normally indulge in, but I have planned to do so and will have no guilt afterward. The morning of December 26th, I’ll have a veggie scramble for breakfast and continue with my current plan.
My other event is my Christmas date night with my husband. Rather than buying presents, we choose to have a date night each year where we go to a restaurant that’s a little higher in price. I’m a total foodie so I truly enjoy this night. I order the fancy cocktails, we split appetizers and desserts and order whatever entree we want. It is so worth it to me to enjoy an upscale menu without caring about the macronutrient content.
“I chose what was worth it”
When I look at my social calendar, I see some events that aren’t so “worth it” to me. Some holiday parties in my office building, for instance. I’m planning on having a blast at these parties, but chips and dips aren’t worth the arthritic joint flare-ups I experience from eating inflammatory foods. I just don’t think they’re that good. For events like these, I’ll probably eat before I go and avoid the drinks because I’d much rather have boozy hot chocolate with my mama on Christmas. The key is that I won’t feel deprived because I’ve planned a more fun day of indulgence for myself. I chose what was worth it. I also won’t feel tempted because I know how important moderation is to my health.
You can easily make this your approach to December. Don’t feel like you are forced to derail your health because you have a holiday party for the next 4 weekends in a row. Pick your favorite of the parties and that’s your day. You’re not depriving yourself at the other parties because you made a proactive choice and you have your favorite to look forward to. It brings it all into perspective. This way you can keep yourself on track and not allow yourself to be defeated by the holidays. They’re stressful enough as it is. Plus, you’ll have a jump start on everyone who’s planning on starting at square one on Jan 1.
If you’re looking for additional guidance this holiday season (or after it), check out our physician led cleanses. These can be done while still indulging at a few holiday events, because they are for real humans (no juices, no starvation). Let us help you restore your liver health, nourish the adrenals, heal the gut, and in turn, optimize your weight.