Avoid the holiday and new year’s guilt-trip this year by focusing on success rather than failure. Below we give you a different perspective on getting through the holidays so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle and not feel like you have to set yourself up to fail.

Set Yourself up for Success

Living a healthy lifestyle is meant to happen year-round but many people struggle with it during the holidays and end up with a major case of guilt come January 1. We want to help you avoid the guilt trip altogether so here are some tips to keep you healthy, de-stressed, and guilt-free through the holidays.

Let’s start with the reality of the holidays. There are more temptations, more events, crazier schedules, bad influences, and tradition triggers than the rest of the year. It is important to have the correct mindset, spend some time goal-setting and planning and then executing that plan.

Here are some other ways to be victorious through the holidays:

  • Eat before you go to a holiday gathering. Going to parties or events hungry is a recipe for disaster. You will be more susceptible to temptation and can sabotage your efforts. Get in some good quality nutrients before you go so your body is properly fueled. Doing this will make you feel better about working in some “vacation” snacks or meals.
  • Give yourself some irreducible minimums. Examples can be: no sodas at all, five servings of vegetables a day, two desserts a week, etc.
  • Make some healthy holiday treats to have on hand. There are many holiday dishes and desserts that you can enjoy without feeling left out or deprived. (The Maximized Living Recipe Vault is full of helpful ideas.)
  • Bring healthy food with you to share at holiday events. People will be appreciative and will also be surprised that the food actually tastes good.
  • Don’t let others derail you. Unfortunately, there will be people out there who are—whether they realize it or not—pressuring you to sabotage your health goals. Stay committed! Remember, if you have a well thought out plan, you will be much more likely to execute it.
  • Stay hydrated. It is easy to become dehydrated, especially during the colder months when you are less conscious about drinking water.
  • Keep moving. Don’t let the holidays interrupt your exercise. It is even more important to exercise during times of increased stress. This will also help your body bounce back from the occasional nutritional “cheat.”
  • Keep balance in mind. If you know you are giving yourself a vacation meal, eat really great beforehand to “earn” it. Conversely, if you fall off the plan, make up for it by nourishing your body properly in the following hours and days.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. If you make some mistakes, don’t dwell on it. Get back up, wipe the slate clean, and make a new plan. Stay positive and focus on your long term goals.
  • Celebrate your successes. Give yourself credit for making your health and your nutrition a priority during the holidays. Share what you are doing with others who are struggling.