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Guilt Free Holidays

Holidays are meant to be enjoyed.  I am a personal trainer and I am the first to tell you, Thanksgiving and Christmas meals are not causing anyone’s weight or health problems.  What we do on Thanksgiving or Christmas is not the issue.  What we do on all of the other days of the year IS the issue.  If you have “constant candy and alcohol season” from mid October through the new year, that will have a way worse effect on your health overall than just Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

For some reason in this country, we like to gravitate between totally dysregulated hedonism or oppressive and over the top guilt, bordering on disordered eating.  Any time I travel outside the US, regardless of location, I am reminded how strange we are about this.

Yes, pretty much everyone overindulges on holidays. I would submit that guilt about that has more to do with how your lifestyle is looking before/after the Holiday.  If you’re in the best shape of your life, you don’t need to worry about the holiday meal.  If you’re not, you probably will feel a little bad about letting yourself go  but the meal itself is not causing the guilt.

It’s popular right now for people to say you should never feel guilty.  Never?  Is there any other human emotion that’s just always wrong and should always be disregarded?  This doesn’t seem very emotionally intelligent to me.

I’m not saying I’m a fan of guilt.  However IF you are feeling it, I encourage a little healthy introspection as to why.  It’s an opportunity to learn.  If you use that guilt as motivation  to make positive changes, you take some action, and then the guilt goes away, I’d say that’s a good thing!

Here’s how to enjoy the holidays guilt free:

  1. Make a healthy lifestyle your new normal.  Lift weights 3 days per week, walk at least 60 minutes 4 days per week, and consistently eat real food.  When you look and feel your best, holidays are just more enjoyable.

  2. Take a walk on the morning of the holiday.  In addition to the physical benefits, a little quiet time can help with holiday stress.  If you’re the head chef of the operation, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help keeping an eye on the oven so you can get a break.

  3. Walk a little after the meal.  It will help you digest and a little extra movement will feel good after all the sitting.

  4. Go to bed sober.  This is a great rule for any occasion involving alcohol consumption.  Have all the fun you want.  Yuck it up!  Just stop drinking and switch to water early enough before bed that by the time you turn in, you are sober.  This will dramatically improve the quality of the sleep you will get that night.  Better sleep, better energy the next day and fewer sugar cravings.

  5. Shake it off and get back on your path.  Holiday food is fine on holidays.  It just shouldn’t be your everyday.  Get back to your workouts, good nutrition, and other healthy habits.  You’ll have a little food and alcohol hangover.  Remember how crummy that feels and how after a couple days you feel much better.  That helps keep the indulgences in check.

Have a GREAT Thanksgiving and if you’re ready to make a change, fill out the form at the top or bottom of this page and I will be in touch : )

Serving Portsmouth, Kittery, and the broader Seacoast community, we help people finally get in shape, feel confident, and have all day energy, even if getting everything done is a constant struggle.

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