There are articles being posted and shared all over the internet and social media this time of year with headlines along the lines of "How to Stay On Track During the Holidays," "Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain," "Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Holiday Meals," "Best Workouts to Burn Off Extra Holiday Calories," and the list goes on.
I hate each and every one of those headlines.
Our society is so dominated by the diet culture that these articles are the norm. We are being encouraged to refrain from indulging or if we do indulge, punish ourselves for the next few days with insane workouts and dieting.
This isn't healthy.
An extra slice of pumpkin pie should not come with a side of guilt. Putting butter on your bread should not be compensated with 100 burpees. Stuffing should not be labeled with a sign that reads "carbs are the devil."
One meal will NOT change your body composition or make you gain 20 lbs.
Taking one day away from the gym to spend time relaxing with family and friends will NOT make you lose any progress.
A healthy holiday should be about enjoying all the good foods there are to offer, being able to spend time with loved ones, relaxing and living life! It's actually normal to eat a little too much at a holiday meal, and that is 100 percent OK!
Food is yummy. Social eating is healthy. Our bodies are smart and will adjust.
There's a common contradiction around the holidays. Many people try so hard to avoid treats and restrict food around big holiday meals that it actually triggers an unhealthy binge response, leading them to gorge on everything at once.
This isn't healthy, either.
Society needs to understand that dieting isn't the answer. The concept we should be sharing is that ALL food is good food (in moderation). We shouldn't try to avoid holiday treats nor should we be gorging on them as if it is the last time we will ever have them.
Be mindful. Eat whatever you want this holiday and however much of it you really want or you are going to be sad about it after it's gone in a week.
There is absolutely no need to compensate for or feel guilty about indulging during holiday gatherings. So don't let society trick you into it.
There is more to life than counting and burning calories, so don't worry about that. Be present and enjoy your holiday. Make it your priority to choose family, friends, making memories, and good food this Thanksgiving.