If you’re like us, you’re probably making your way through Thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (Thanksgiving enchiladas, anyone?). While a delicious mix of turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce delights your stomach and mind in the moment, it can feel hard to get back to your regularly-scheduled health goals post-holiday. If you’re experiencing a slip right now, or if you’re looking to reprioritize your health goals, here are three simple (and effective) steps to do it.
1. Commit to one healthy choice in-the-moment
After a weekend (or week-long) stint of eating outside of our normal routine, we often pressure ourselves to get back to our routine immediately. This leads to overcompensation—exercising every day, eating nutritiously for every meal, cutting out fun foods, etc—which will likely last a week or two, if that. Going all in, especially after a holiday, isn’t sustainable. So, instead of going all green juice and green tea, we recommend committing to one small change that you can make to reprioritize your health goals by focusing on one healthy choice you can make right now to recommit. Can you go for a quick walk before your meeting? How about starting your day with a tall glass of water? What about enjoying a nutrient-dense smoothie for breakfast? Can you go for a quick walk before your meeting? Whatever you choose, just start with one thing and go from there
2. Find an accountability partner
As you know, it’s usually easier to build (or reinforce) habits when other people are doing it alongside of you. While catching up with friends or family you didn’t get to see over the holiday, opt for “healthier” hangouts. Try a new workout class or make a healthy meal together, or meet up for a coffee and walk or a hike. Having someone to support you and keep you accountable can make it much easier to follow through with your commitments (and find more enjoyment, too).
3. Say no to extremes (and get creative)
Rather than swearing off of your favorite foods after a slip (that’s all-or-nothing thinking), we encourage you to practice moderation. A realistic way to get back into the swing of things (without feeling like you’re going cold turkey) is to get creative with your leftovers. Instead of fixing a plate identical to what you’ve eaten for the past few days, pair your leftovers with nutritious green foods. Make a salad with turkey as the protein source and pair it with a cranberry-balsamic vinaigrette. Add chopped veggies and turkey to some water or broth and let it simmer for a hearty soup. Bake some egg bites with mashed sweet potatoes, veggies, turkey, and eggs in muffin tins for a satisfying breakfast.
Whatever you do, remember that there is no “falling off the wagon.” Slips are normal (and necessary) part of your journey. Bouncing back after a slip is the key to learning to make your habits stick long-term.
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