It’s not too early to talk about it.
You know what I am talking about.
In the final quarter of the calendar year, treats both sweet and savoury are available in abundance, and slowly creep into our diets, causing the scale to creep upwards.
It kicks off with the bounty of the harvest at Thanksgiving. Then you’re surrounded by candy for about a month thanks to Halloween. The Girl Guides are selling those chocolate mint cookies, and various treats start to trickle into the office. The weekly flyers are full of new products, awesome-looking appies and delectable desserts – complete with pictures, of course!
Now I am not advocating that you avoid the culinary joys of the season completely – that would take all the fun out of it! But there are some things that we can do to stay on track and minimize the damage. Then, not only will we start the New Year with fewer resolutions to break, we’ll feel better, too! (Face it, all that stuff looks good, but if you overindulge you end up feeling bloated and a little – or a lot – sick. Is it really worth it?)
Here are a few suggestions to get us started – please add yours in the comments! We’re all in this together…
The ‘Lunchbox Rule’ – I institute this rule beginning every October; I have been tempted, teased and outright mocked by coworkers, but it works. It’s simple: I don’t eat anything during my workday that I did not bring in my lunch. It doesn’t mean I can’t have treats – but I plan ahead and build in portion-control by only packing one, whereas, once I start on the client-delivered cookie tray, it’s hard to stop.
Fill the fridge – in order for the Lunchbox Rule to work, you have to have a selection of healthy foods that you love on hand. If you don’t pack enough food in your lunch, you will be hungry when the treats go around and it will be harder to say no. You also need to have healthy choices at home so you are prepared at meal times – you don’t want to skip meals or cave in to the temptation of takeout – both will undermine your resolve – and the results.
Watch your drink – sure there are all sorts of festive drinks, both with alcohol and without, that you can only get at this time of year. But remember they all add up! From alcohol to apple cider, gingerbread lattes to eggnog, pay attention so you don’t add thousands of calories without even noticing. After a treat or two, consider switching to water, tea, or diet pop.
Eat with intention – here’s the best part: indulge! Eat the things you really want to eat, but pay attention. Choose the things you really want to try, and savour every bite. Not only will you not feel deprived, you’ll also avoid the regret of wolfing down a dozen bite-sized pieces you don’t even remember the taste of, not to mention that gross feeling that comes from eating too much.
Get your runs in – sometimes this is easier said than done as the holidays approach – there is so much to do and no extra time to do it. But remember, keep running and you will not only have built-in stress control; you’ll also earn some of those treats!