Tips for maintaining healthy eating during the holidays, birthdays, Tuesdays…

Let’s face it, every facet of the American eating lifestyle has it out to make staying true to your healthy eating lifestyle darn near impossible. The holidays are tough. Yeah, I slipped this Christmas… yeah I slipped hard. But I’m back at it again today. Nobody is perfect and falling into the trap of “just one more day of high carbs and then I’m back”, can be a downward spiral making it even harder to recover. The sooner you can break the cycle, the sooner you can get back to feeling good.

1. Forgive yourself and move on.

Take stock of the conditions you found yourself in when the cookies magically flew into your mouth, and learn from that moment. Was it a time of joy or time of stress.? Learn your triggers and you’ll be on the path to learning how to avoid them in the future.

2. Avoid alcohol.

No matter how strong your willpower is on a regular basis, add alcohol to the mix and it’s strong chance that you will give in to temptation. I tend to joke lately that “scotch has lot’s of carbs”, and people usually question this, since it is known that most straight liquors don’t have any carbohydrates. But in my case, scotch usually leads to seeking out the bag of cookies sitting in the freezer. This isn’t to say that imbibing every now and then is a bad thing, but know your limits, and know about the pitfalls hidden away in the freezer.

3. Plan ahead.

Anticipate when you’ll be in social situations where either you can’t plan your menu or where your favorite treats may be present. If possible, bring a dish your can eat to a party. Most likely, if it’s “keto-friendly”, people will oh and ah over the richness of the dish. Also, if possible, eat before going to food based gatherings. You’ll be less inclined to overindulge and more likely to make good food choices.

4. Keep good notes.

By this I mean a food diary. I used the MyFitnessPal app religiously when first starting my lifestyle, first as learning tool, but also as personal reminder of consumption. Keeping track also trains your brain to be far more aware of nutrition labels. When a container of egg nog appeared in the refrigerator this week, my first thought was “well maybe just one glass”. The second thought was “how may carbs are in this stuff”. After recognizing the whopping 43 grams of carbohydrates in just an 8 ounce glass, that stuff became poison in my mind, no matter how much the former me loved it.

5. Portions matter.

So even if you do manage to find the foods on the buffet that are better than others, be wary of just how much your are consuming. Social settings are likely out of routine and even the change in the plate size has negatively influence how much we consume. For years I left parties feeling ill due to the amount of food consumed. It’s kind of amazing being able to celebrate special occasions and waling away feeling good an energized.

6. Make cheats special.

So you’ve been good for the most part and now you’ve made the choice to indulge (and I do believe you should every now and then). Make sure your indulgence is worth it. Do you really want to the packaged cookies from the store shelf or would you rather go “off-book” for the special pastry your grandma always makes? You’ll feel more satisfied when the sweets are not just some mindless sugar and carbs.