Don’t worry this isn’t one of those holiday health articles advising you to “choose fruit instead of pie for dessert.” Staying on track this holiday season doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods. All it takes is a balanced attitude, visualization and a smart two-step plan.
A Balanced attitude:
What often gets people into trouble around the holidays is an “all-or-nothing” eating attitude. They either mindlessly stuff their face like it’s their last meal—eating everything from turkey to truffles and pot roast to peanut brittle—or are super-restrictive with their food choices and have no fun at all! What’s more practical is following what I call the 80-20 rule:
- 80% of the time, drink plenty of water and fuel your body with real food (fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, unprocessed lean meats and whole grains)
- 20% of the time, have some guilt-free holiday fun and enjoy a drizzle of gravy on your potatoes, a small slice of mom’s pumpkin pie or a glass of wine…or all three!
The 80-20 strategy makes it much easier to stay in control because you aren’t depriving yourself of your favorite holiday foods.
All too often I have conversations with individuals who want to change their eating habits. However, they typically meet with limited (if any) long-term success because they are living as an individual who makes unhealthy food choices. They are coming from a place of resistance. Rather than visualize what could be and live from that end, they see what is and can’t get past it. And so begins the long list of excuses for why they can’t make better choices. Does this sound like you during the holiday season? If so, start by visualizing yourself as someone who does the following at holiday gatherings:
- Chooses raw vegetables as an appetizer instead of Swedish meatballs (or maybe a plateful of vegetables and one Swedish meatball).
- Drinks one glass of wine instead of three and then sips on water the rest of the evening.
- Chooses one dessert instead of two.
In other words, see yourself as the product of your desires already fulfilled. Live and make choices from that place. Embody that person.
Visualization is such a simple, yet powerful exercise—the possibilities for true change are limitless!
Stay tuned for a two-step plan to help you navigate those holiday gatherings in a healthier way this year (minus the guilt!)