For most of us, the holiday season is the hardest season to stay consistent in our health. In this season of hope, we feel hopeless when it comes to our health. We get consistent in our healthy habits, lose it all during the holidays, feel guilty, and then try and make these crazy changes for the new year, and they don’t stick. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m here to tell you that doesn’t have to be your reality in this season. There is hope! You don’t have to lose ground.
The mentality of fasting and feasting is vital for this season. There are times for fasting and times for feasting. The problem is, we continuously feast and never fast. This creates an imbalance that causes us to lose ground. The holiday season is a great time of feasting! Being released to feast during the holidays brings us great joy and peace. But if we do not balance out the feasting with fasting, we will feel guilty when we do feast. Fasting releases us to feast. If we know that we have fasted, we will be confident that we can feast at the right times.
Wait! You want me to starve myself?? Nope. I want you to apply the biblical principle of fasting to your health. I’m not talking about starving yourself or not eating for weeks. I’m talking about implementing intermittent fasting regularly. Regularly doing intermittent fasting gives our bodies a rest from all of the feasting we will do. It allows our body to use up some of the energy we have stored when we feast. I will not go into the details of how to fast in this article as I have others that go into more detail. If you feel unclear on how to fast correctly, please read those. They will help you with practical steps to take.
Other than fasting, here are some practical ways to not lose ground this holiday season.
1. Throw it away!
We know that after each party we go to or host that there will be tons of leftover food. Most of the time, we keep those leftovers and eat them throughout the week. Stop this at once! Again, there are times to feast (at the party) and times to fast (during your typical week). Don’t bring the leftovers from your feast into your fasting time. Then you will just be feasting constantly. Instead, give them away and choose healthier options throughout the week.
2. Make healthier desserts.
The deserts we eat do not always have to be packed with processed sugars and carbs. Yes, you will have these types of foods during the holidays, but try incorporating some healthier options for deserts once in a while.
3. Use a smaller plate.
I’m sure you have heard this one before, but it is super helpful. If you choose a smaller plate and load that one up, you will feel like you have had a lot more food than you have.
4. Have someone keep you accountable.
Have someone at the events you go to keep you accountable. Talk about your limits before you go to the party and have them help you stick to it. If you do not have a plan, you will fail. If you have a plan and have a partner in that plan, you will succeed.
You do not have to lose ground! If you implement these four simple tips, you will go from discouraged and alone, to confident and hopeful this holiday season. You can do it!
Ashton Tate is the founder of Glory to Glory Fitness in Nashville TN, and the creator of The F.O.R.M. Curriculum, a turn-key and biblically based health curriculum for schools and homeschool families.