Labor day has come and gone and you know what that means, Its pumpkin season baby! With pumpkin season comes pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween candy, thanksgiving festivities, and then Christmas soon after. You may find it hard to navigate a healthy lifestyle through the fall/winter seasons. This is where I come in! I’m giving you my top 10 favorite fall tips and tricks (or treat;)) to keep you on track with a healthy lifestyle without having to sacrifice everything that comes with pumpkin season!
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be as these are solely based on my experiences. Please consult your family doctor before considering any recommendations listed in this post. Thanks!
Life is about balance
When it comes to staying on track and avoiding holiday weight gain, you need to define what balance means to you. To help you find your definition of balance, I have created this worksheet with prompts to get you thinking about your “Why”. The why behind your healthy lifestyle and the goals you want to achieve.
It may take some tial and error to find balance for yourself and that is ok! Be patient with yourself and open to learning. Life is short, but also long at the same time. You dont need to figure everything out yesterday!
Enough of my Oprah talk, lets get into my top tips to stay healthy and avoid holiday weight gain!
tip #1 to stay on track: find alternatives!
I have a major sweet tooth, when it comes to holiday baked goods I tend to cave into my desires. If you are like me, it is 100% ok to indulge in the real deal sweets. I encourage you to! Otherwise we think about that food for hours, even days, and leads to an unhealthy mindset towards food. If you truely want something, let yourself have it and then move on.
However, eating a bunch of sugary treats everyday is also not beneficial to our health or supporting your goals. Therefore, I love to scroll through pinterest and find “copycat” recipes of cakes, brownies, muffins, or even savoury foods like nachos (did someone say superbowl?). This helps me stay on track with my health goals while also allowing me to induge.
Tip #2 to stay on track: protein!
Protein has a proven effect of making one feel fuller, for longer. Not only is it one of the 3 macro nutrients your body needs, it is also satifying. I know, I know, protein is boring. No one wants to eat plain chicken breast egg whites. However, getting protein in does not have to mean bland! Check out these satisfying, high protein meal ideas for some insiration!
Additionally, invest in a quality protein powder to supplement with on days you have no control over meals. I dont mean to boast, but, I am a bit of a protein snob so I have listed only the best tasting proteins I use myself. After all, I only provide the best for my reads;)
Tip #3 to stay on track: have desert or a drink, not both
The third tip to staying on track and avoided holiday weight gain is an example of balance. Before you go out to dinner with your family or friends, decide either endlge in a drink, or a dessert, not both. Having both can rack up your daily calories to well over 500. For people aiming to maintain their weight, going over your calories for a day will do absolutley nothing to your physic. However, if you have a weight loss goal and are trying to change your eating habits, make a choice that supports your goals.
Tip #4 to stay on track: eat before a calorie dense meal
This one may seem counter intuitive. “Why would I eat before eating again?”. There are 2 reasons.
- eating before a calorie dense meal will allow you to eat less of it. When we go into a meal out staving, our bodys have a harder time regestering that we are eating and we end up over eating.
- You can focus on the experience rather than the food. Yes, enjoy the food but that is not the point of going out with loved ones! Enjoy your time with them without being food focused.
Tip #5 to stay on track: leave the f*ck it mindset at home
You’re either on the track or off the track. I know I titled this blog post “10 tips to stay on track” but there really is no track. Lets circle back to the word “balance” aka living in the grey area rather than black and white.
When it comes to diets or losing weight many women seem to think they need to be perfect all the time. Perfection is unatainable and not very fun in the holiday seasons.
Think about it like up and down, there is not one without the other. Likewise with this imaginary track, if there is an “on” there must be an “off”. expecting your will power to pull through will the temptations of the holidays is setting yourself up for failure. Know there will be tasty food, you will eat tasty food, but you wont over indulge if you are not fighting you’re cravings.
Leave the f*ck it mindset at home and let the leash out a bit!
Tip #6 to stay on track: eat mindfully
Mindful eating is staying in tune with your bodys hunger and fullness ques. Dieting can dull these feeling because we have a specific macro count to hit at the end of the day. So, we eat when were are not hungry or eat past fullness.
During the holiday season, make an effort to tune into your body and listen to the ques. This usually prevents overeating! take a look at the hunger a fullness scale to get a gague on when you should eat to avoid felling ravenous.
Tip #7 to stay on track: get moving!
Movment is one of the most underrated tips to avoid holiday weight gain. Many of you will go away to see family and may not have access to a gym so you through in the towel and say “ill get back on track in the new year”. However, movement does not have to mean slaving away at the gym! Find things to partake in that gets you moving and gets you social!
- go on a family walk
- play football with you kids
- do a home workout or yoga session (and get your family involved!)
- adventure around the city (or town)
Tip #8 to stay on track: change your coffee order
Starbucks is known for the pumpkin spice lattes and pepperment mochas that only come arround once a year. Granted, they are delicious and I endulge in at least a few PSL’s in the fall.
The problem though, is these drinks can rack up the calories. A grande PSL is about 400 calories, just for a drink. Again, nothing wrong with the real thing but those 400 calories can definatly be used elsewhere if you have a health goal.
What i like to do is “lighten it up”. I am exposing my starbucks hack for a delicious drink for half the calories so you can have your cake and eat it too, without wearing it. Heres what you are going to order:
Pumpkin spice latte addition:
- Grande pumpkin spice latte
- half sweet
- non fat milk
- light whip (or no whip)
Peppermint mocha addition:
- grande peppermint mocha
- half sweet
- non fat milk or milk alternative
- light or no whip
Rule of thumb for other festive drinks:
opt for half sweet, non fat milks or milk alternatives, and get no whip. It will slash the calories in half but you still gt a little something to satisfy your cravings!
Tip #9 to stay on track: be ok with saying “no” sometimes
You do not have to feel preasured to say “yes” to every cookie and cake that is offered to you. At the end of the day, no one really cares about your health and fitness goals so you are the one who will have to say no sometimes.
We will all be surounded by delicious food during the fall and winter seasons, give yourself full permission to indulge once and a while. However, also give yourself permission to decline without guilt of the other persons feelings.
Tip #10 to stay on track: enjoy yourself
last but certainly not least. Memories over macros! Dont forget to enjoy every last bit of your family time, the christmas lights, halloween costumes, and all the amazing things that only come once a year. You do not have to diet on holidays to be able to avoid holiday weight gain!
are you on a fitness and health journey? Here are some ways I can help you achieve your goals and have fun doing it! Check out my services page for more information:)
until next time my friends