The Holiday Season is upon us, and with it comes an increase in social events, and the unavoidable festive holiday foods we all love so much. Cookies, eggnog, pumpkin pie, turkey dinner! All so good! And yet so bad for your waistline and those pesky love handles. But it’s the holidays! A time to eat drink and be merry. Missing out on your favourite seasonal treats entirely just isn’t fair or realistic. Being too restrictive is just setting yourself up for failure, or worse, a binge session that you’ll most certainly regret later. So now for the big question: Is there a way to have your cake and eat it too? (Literally!) The answer is yes! Follow this one simple strategy and you’ll never spend another holiday season feeling deprived or unhealthy!
THE 80/20 Rule
First of all, let’s clarify that this strategy is not for losing weight, but rather for establishing a balanced approach to your nutrition habits over the holiday season. A truly healthy lifestyle is all about balance, and the 80/20 rule is a great way of achieving that. To lose weight, a better approach would be the 90/10 rule, but that’s for another article!
The number one mistake that people make during the holiday season, is throwing all reason in regard to nutrition out the window and eating everything in sight, like calories don’t count from December 1st through January 1st. Now if you’re totally fine with starting the new year with a few extra pounds, then by all means have that eggnog latte and cinnamon bun for breakfast. But if you want to maintain your weight over the holidays, and enjoy yourself at the same time, then the 80/20 rule is for you.
It’s really quite simple: 80% of the time, focus on sticking to your usual pre-holiday nutrition routine. Eat your veggies, lean protein, and complex carbs. Stay hydrated, get in regular exercise and avoid eating sugary, fatty, calorie laden foods. Then, when social occasions call, or your family requests that holiday favourite on the weekend, enjoy it! Have a piece of pecan pie, enjoy a rum and eggnog. It’s all about moderation and balance. Being restrictive year round is unhealthy and completely unnecessary. There is absolutely no reason to avoid enjoying the holidays. If you plan ahead, watch your portions, and eat properly 80% of the time, the other 20% you can enjoy yourself guilt free and be fit and healthy year round!
So that’s it! No extremes one way or another. All good things in moderation! This principle can be followed year round to maintain your current weight, but it’s especially useful for the Holiday Season.