How to keep on track during the holiday season

The holiday season is upon us and there will be much to celebrate this holiday season.  For some of us, we planned, trained and ran our races with much success.  Congratulations to everyone.  Whether it was a PB, a first 5K or first marathon, or anything in-between; what matters is that you proved to yourself that you can challenge yourself, and ultimately, at the end of the day, you can say, “I did it”.  Insert applause here

Now that the running season is over, and the weather in some regions is getting colder, will you continue to run outside?  Perhaps you will take to a treadmill, or take up another activity.

I myself have just begun training for a half marathon in January.  In the past years I’ve continued to set a race in the winter season only because I know myself.  If I don’t, you’d most likely see me sitting on the couch, glued to my favourite TV programs, eating comfort food.  Yes, the hard truth is, I too can slack off, however, I know my weaknesses, and the colder months really do not appeal to me, so I plan ahead and ensure I don’t make excuses during the winter season, so I register for a race or two to keep the momentum going.

As well as training for my half, I usually spend the month of November ensuring I eat properly, and avoiding food temptations, to properly equip myself, like ‘foodie combat shields’ in preparing myself for Christmas and other holiday gatherings.  I’m finding the word ‘no’ is becoming a regular word being said to my spouse in the grocery store lately.  I think he’s getting used to me prying him away from the candy aisle, although I have found a couple of unwanted treats in the cart while standing in the cash line waiting to pay.  Sneaky, he is!

What works for me is to completely rid myself of any treats so that when those holiday parties do begin, I’m not tempted to go overboard.  Psychologically, this works for me.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve ridden my body of any sugars and/or sweets and the cravings for them are reduced as the December parties begin.  However, I’m also a foodie in regards to other indulgences such as hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, and other munchibles.  So how do I avoid stopping myself from overindulging during the Christmas season?

Here are some of my tips:

PLAN AHEAD

Parties are usually scheduled weeks in advance.  When the party day arrives, I ensure I’ve prepared myself.  If an early evening party, I ensure I eat a healthy lunch and depending at the time of the party, I sometimes will eat lunch a little later in the day to ensure I don’t arrive at the party famished and grabbing at any little niblet.  If I know I won’t have a lot of time during the day, I will prepare some healthy snacks to eat a couple of hours prior to the party.

DON’T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME

Unless my hands are tied behind my back, which hasn’t happened (yet) at any party I’ve been to, standing by the table of goodies and expecting me not to nibble is not beneficial.  Therefore, I try to make a point of standing away from the table and make conversation elsewhere in the room.

WATER

Water helps to fill you up.  Try drinking a glass or two during the night.  Add a little lime or lemon to taste.  As well, this also will cut back at any liquor content you may be drinking.  That too holds unwanted calories.

FILL ER’ UP

When you do decide to eat, fill a small (get a dessert plate if you can) plate up with the most healthful foods first.  Pile on those carrot sticks, celery sticks and fruit.  Of course, don’t deny yourself of a few goodies.  Just be choosy in what you do prefer, and eat the healthy food first.  You’ll find by the time you get to the goodies, you may not want them anymore.  Another alternative is to only take small quantities at a time.  Perhaps you won’t keep going back to the table as you’ll realize you are full by the time you get to the second go round.  If it’s a potluck party and you will be contributing a dish, make sure it’s something healthy for you to eat and enjoy.  One never knows what everyone else will be bringing to the buffet, but at least you will know, you will have one go-to dish that you can indulge on and enjoy without regret.

Enjoy the holiday season.  I do believe moderation is key, so enjoy a holiday treat here and there.  You most likely earned it.

As always, no matter what activity you are up to, I wish you continued success during the winter season.  Keep reaching to achieve your goals!

Are you still training during the winter season?  What are some of your tips for eating properly during the holidays? 

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