‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry!
But indulging with abandon has a way of backfiring around this time of year — especially when we’re full of reasons for getting back on track tomorrow.
Only the problem is that ‘tomorrow’ is almost a month from now.
So to help separate fact from fiction, Marsha Hudnall, president and co-owner of Green Mountain weight management program, shared with me her top five myths about diet and exercise around the holidays.
Bottom line: It’s cool to partake in all of the festivities, just keep your wits about you!
Myth No. 1: Diet before and during the holiday season.
Reality: Learn to eat mindfully instead (i.e. listen to what your body is telling you and try to be aware of when you are full or satisfied). Make decisions that leave you feeling good about yourself and your choices, even if one of those choices is to have that delicious dessert. It’s not about ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ foods. It’s about eating in a way that makes you feel satisfied — both while eating and afterwards.
Myth No. 2: Double up on your workout to shed those extra calories.
Reality: Regular physical activities that you enjoy are as beneficial for optimal health as they are for weight management. It’s less about burning calories and more about moving to feel good, which sets you up for making better choices. Exercise in excess is usually not healthy — and even worse, an injury could keep you from feeling less than merry this season.
Myth No. 3: Weigh yourself daily to help control your eating.
Reality: Lets face it — we all fluctuate on a daily basis when it comes to the numbers on the scale. Weighing yourself often only has a negative impact on self-esteem and decreases motivation for self-care. Focusing on how your state of mind and your energy levels helps you make smarter, more sustainable eating choices.
Myth No. 4: With a little planning, you can successfully navigate six holiday parties in one evening.
Reality: Over-committing can cause stress, which often leads to emotional overeating. Try committing to fewer parties and hosting simpler celebrations. Being more relaxed will help you actually enjoy the holidays, which also helps set you up for success in the New Year and beyond.
Myth No. 5: It’s okay to overindulge during holiday celebrations; you can “get back on track” tomorrow.
Reality: Eat what you want to avoid the feelings of deprivation that drive overeating, but try being more of a foodie during the holidays (and year-round!). By being particular about what you eat, you’ll choose only those items that truly delight your taste buds and leave you feeling like you indulged without going overboard.
Myth No. 6: When it comes to leftovers, it’s ‘the more, the merrier!’
Reality: If having extra food or leftovers lying around drives you to eat more than you need, considering donating it to local shelters or giving it away to family members, neighbors, etc. It’s a great way to share the love during the holiday season without packing on those unnecessary pounds.