written by Elizabeth of Pure Simple Wellness

The holiday season is upon us. From now until the new year, you will probably have many festive gatherings full of yummy, mouthwatering treats and family delicacies. Unfortunately, this leads to annual weight gain, of which 51% occurs during the last six weeks of the year, according to the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

Hello there! I’m Elizabeth, Holistic Health Coach and Emotional Eating Expert over at @PureSimpleWellness here to help navigate the holidays with grace and ease, without adding the extra pounds.

I’m a huge fan of the 80/20 rule when it comes to your dietary choices. Simply put, that means eating healthful foods 80% of the time, and saving your indulgences for the other 20%. I am not a fan of deprivation. Personally, when I “can’t” eat something, that is ALL I can think about. I wake up in the morning and only want that food. I dream about it and totally obsess about it. So, in my experience, deprivation isn’t a successful solution. The goal is to truly savor the temptations, without too much over-indulging.

Here are some quick tips to help you keep off the weight in the holidays, so you don’t need to struggle to lose it in the new year!

  1. Choose your indulgences wisely: Think about which indulges are truly worth it. If your Aunt Jean makes the best apple pie with homemade ice cream, that might be worth the splurge. If you are at a party and someone brought store bought brownies, maybe that’s not worth it.
  2. Don’t skip meals: If you know you are going to a party in the evening, it’s important to eat healthfully beforehand. Make sure all your meals and snacks contain protein, healthy fat and fiber to keep you satiated. Why not have some carrots and hummus before you head out, to keep you from over consuming due to extreme hunger.
  3. Alternate water with your alcoholic beverages: If you are consuming alcohol, it makes your body more dehydrated. That’s one of the reasons you may have a headache the next morning. To keep the hangover away, alternate water before and after an alcoholic beverage. Start the party with a sparkling water with lemon, before your first glass of wine, and have another glass of water before choosing your second glass of wine! This will also help you to make better food choices, as alcohol can cause you to let your guard down!
  4. Move your body:Schedule your workouts in your calendar, so they aren’t missed. Find opportunities to move your body and walk. Why not encourage your colleagues or family to walk after a meal. That helps your body with digestion as well.
  5. Check out all the offerings before choosing: See what all the options are before you start putting food on your plate. This is particularly important when it comes to all you can eat buffets or family style gatherings. This way, you can choose which indulgences are worth the 20% splurge.
  6. Crowd in vegetables: If you fill 50% of your plate with vegetables, it provides a variety of nutrients to your body. This helps to satiate you and reduce your hunger. You’ll have less room for the more processed junk food and sweets, which are created so “you can’t just eat one”!

The most important part of the holidays is to be present and enjoy your family and friends. This is a time to be thankful for all of your blessing and show appreciation to those around you. If possible, try and enter your Thanksgiving celebration with a new perspective – rather than thinking about the events from the past. It’s time to celebrate and give thanks, not dwell on the past.

Looking for a great recipe to add to your Thanksgiving table that is both healthy and simple?

Try my Roasted Dijon Brussel Sprouts! With a 15 min prep, you can enjoy big flavors with very little effort.

For more healthy recipes and even healthy treats join my free Simple Healthy Recipes Facebook Group. You will find multiple recipes shared weekly plus healthy eating tips and community wellness challenges!