Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year, where food is abundant, calories are dense and Grandma's guilt is strong. It's the holidays! I hope you were able to carve out some time to enjoy Thanksgiving with the people you love. Hubs and I had our own little Thanksgiving dinner at home. Our families live far away and we always politely turn down invitations to spend it with other people's families because we'd prefer a quiet evening at home.
I made a small turkey breast, my (almost) famous green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, our own Texas tradition of jalapeno corn bread and of course, pie. Hubby is usually the cook in the family, this may literally be the only day all year that I cook dinner. Someone be sure to check the batteries in the smoke detector.
I make a point to enjoy my holiday dinners guilt free. If there is ever a time to not to worry about calories or marco-calculations it's a holiday dinner. Keep in mind that bonding with the people you love over a meal is also part of a healthy lifestyle. Balance is important. It's good to always be mindful about your nutrition and I'll tell you I was mindful of my happy tastebuds when that pumpkin pie went down. What you do once in awhile is insignificant compared to what you do every day. Don't worry about the holiday dinners, be more concerned about the dinners you eat the other 350 days a year.
OOPS I DID IT AGAIN
What happens when you go to the party with good intentions but the food gets the best of you? You ate more than you wanted, you drank more than you planned and your calorie deficit is now defunct? Never fear, I am here to help you get back on track.
TIPS TO GET BACK ON TRACK AFTER AN INDULGENT HOLIDAY MEAL
CLEAN SLATE APPROACH
You have goals. You are mindful of the things you eat, you work out hard and damn it can feel hard to stay on track this time of year. The holiday parties, the family dinners, the office treats and the neighbor's cookies all seem to add up to weaken your resolve.
Some days you do well with a polite, no thank you. Other days you do fine by enjoying a bite or a serving and moving on. Then there are those days when the food gets the best of you and you end up not making the choices that you thought you wanted to make. Maybe you overindulged, maybe you drank too much or maybe you skipped yet another workout. Enter the Clean Slate Approach.
When you mess up and make a choice that doesn't align with your goals, you can immediately wipe the slate clean. It means no guilt, no penance and you move on at the next opportunity.
Don't feel bad about it. At this point, what is done is done. Maybe you wished you hadn't ate that, but unless you have a time machine or can time travel like Bran Stark, the only sane and logical choice is to move on. Beating yourself up not only doesn't help anything, it actually makes it worse. Be careful how you to talk to yourself. Treat yourself as well as you would treat your best friend or your child in this situation. Have compassion for yourself. We all make mistakes.
One of my pet peeves around the holidays are these holiday memes that depict how many burpees you have to do in order to "burn off" that pumpkin pie or how many miles to run for that bottle of wine. I know I should lighten up about it, because most of those memes are all in good fun. I am sure they are not intending that people actually try to work off every extra calorie they consumed, right? RIGHT?!?
You don't have to pay penance for your pumpkin pie with burpees. You don't have to work out extra hard or extra long the next day. With the clean slate approach you simply go back to your normal way of eating and exercising at the next opportunity.
Exercise as punishment for your food sins is never effective over the long term. I want to help people learn to love exercise. I want everyone to find a way to move their body that they enjoy. No one enjoys punishment. You can try to punish yourself with exercise, but that is not a great lifelong strategy for motivation. Exercise because it makes you feel great, not because you have to "burn off" the food you ate.
The last part of the clean slate approach is to simply move on. Have you ever got a flat tire on your car and then stabbed the other three? "Oh well, one tire is flat, that sucks, might as well flatten the other three now." Of course not. But that is how many people approach their food slip ups. "I already messed up today by making a poor nutritional choice, I might as well eat all these other poor nutritional choices for the rest of the day, weekend or week."
You don't have to "start over" tomorrow, Monday, the first of the new month, or worse, the New Year. Just pick right back up where you left off. You messed up. Guess what? You're human. We all mess up. All the time. Just move on. Right now. At the next opportunity and you'll be fine.
The clean slate approach is the sane and sustainable way to get back on track after an indulgent meal. Did you cook for Thanksgiving? Spend time with family? Anyone run a Turkey Trot? We ran one in Fort Worth!
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