by | Nov 16, 2020 | 0 comments

Despite 2020 feeling somewhat like Groundhog Day to some, the holidays are still on the calendar, and Thanksgiving is next week!  Personally, this time of year is one of my favorites, but professionally, I’ll be honest … it can be a bit rough.

Now is the time when some people start saying “ugh, this year is a wash, I’ll start again in January,” which clearly doesn’t make any sense at all (it’ll be harder in January if you spend the next 6 weeks mistreating your body!).  Now is the time when some people realize they won’t make their 2020 goal precisely, so they give up on it all together (again, doesn’t make sense!  Fighting to get 80% of the way there is far better than giving up and backsliding to 50%!).  Now is the time when people forget that it’s called a holi-DAY, not a holi-MONTH or holi-6 WEEKS!

So, today, I beg you to do yourself a favor and recognize that now is the time to set yourself up for success with a healthy holiday mindset.  This post will give you tips on how to do just that!

Tips to Set a Healthy Holiday Mindset

  1. Rack up deposits in your self-accountability bank. Focus on all of the things you CAN do despite it being a holiday.  Be intent on rewarding yourself for all of the positive things you do for your health.  When you do, you get a rush of endorphins that makes you want to do these behaviors more!  Plus, they add up to make a huge difference … even if there is an extra piece of pie or two thrown into the mix! Celebrate every time you make a commitment to yourself, and remember that’s a deposit into the bank (see this post – if you don’t know what I mean!).  Here are a few potential deposits that you can make (almost) every day:
    1. Go for a walk to start the day.
    2. Fit in an exercise session (there are so many virtual options!) before the festivities start.
    3. Commit to having a healthy breakfast (here are a few ideas!)
    4. Drink plenty of water during the day (I recommend drinking the number of ounces that equals ½ your bodyweight in pounds).
    5. Prioritize good quality sleep (here’s how!)
    6. Make a veggie pack or drink some Organifi before holiday festivities for more nutrient and antioxidant power.
  2. Fit in nourishing foods when you can. And, I would argue, you almost always can!  Add some veggies to your stuffing, trade the mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole for a hearty roasted root vegetable medley, or use hummus instead of cream cheese in your dips for extra plant-based protein and fiber.  The possibilities are infinite!
    To help you out, I’ve put together this FREE download of my 20 favorite healthy holiday swaps.
    Grab your copy here!
    Get the Free Download HERE!
  3. Follow the 1/3 of the plate strategy. Of course, I always recommend filling (at least!) half your plate with veggies, so if you want to go all in, be my guest!  But for holidays, I offer a little bit of lenience, and suggest the 1/3 of the plate strategy:
    1. 1/3 of your plate is full of veggies! Salad, roasted root veggies, braised green beans, roasted cauliflower, Holiday Brussels Sprouts and Acorn Squash Bake,  sauteed spinach, you name it … enjoy!
    2. 1/3 of your plate is full of protein! Turkey, ham, deviled eggs, lentil loaf, you name it … get your protein in to ensure you stay full and balanced!
    3. 1/3 of your plate is for everything else! I’ll never say you can’t have whatever is important to you, so if you want to fill the entire 1/3 of your plate with marshamallowed sweet potatoes, go for it.  Or if you want a tiny bite of stuffing, a tiny bite of sweet potatoes, a tiny roll, and a tiny bit of whatever else … go for that!  Fitting all of the “extras” into 1/3 of the plate helps you enjoy what you want while still prioritizing moderation.
  4. Remember that it’s a holi-DAY, not a holi-MONTH! One day is certainly not the end of the world, no matter what your goals are.  So, don’t skip that pumpkin pie that grandma only makes once per year.  Don’t leave the Thanksgiving table feeling deprived.  But also recognize that if you let these behaviors bleed over in the 37 days between Thanksgiving and January 1st, you’re likely to feel pretty sluggish, bloated, lethargic, and depressed.Instead, have expectations that holiDAYs won’t be perfect (and give yourself grace!  That’s OK!).  Commit to resetting every single day with a quick affirmation (want to write some? Here’s my guidance!) and reminder of your intentions and goals.  Have a plan, believe that you can stick to it, and make it happen!
  5. Remember the reason for the season and practice gratitude. Whatever holiday you might be celebrating over the next few months, I know there’s a deeper meaning than just the food.  Practice gratitude (it can be as simple as writing 3 things you’re grateful for every morning or starting the family dinner conversation with the same), volunteer (VolunteerMatch has several of remote possibilities!), spend time with family or loved ones (even if that means it has to be virtual), rest and restore yourself.  Focusing on all of these uplifting parts of the holidays can help take the attention and obsession off of food.


Now it’s your turn … What’s your favorite healthy holiday mindset tip?  What will the holidays look like this year for you?


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Megan Lyons Headshot

Hi! I'm Megan Lyons,

the voice behind The Lyons’ Share. I love all things health, wellness, and fitness-related, and I hope to share some of my passion with you. Thanks for stopping by!
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