Today I’m sharing 3 of the strategies that help me stay focused on my best plant based eating choices over the holiday season.
The thing is, these are simply the choices that work 24/7 365 days All Year!
Holiday season does not need to be any different.
If it is then you’re falling for excuse-i-tis and you’re letting YOU down. I say this with love… as I said it with love to a dear client yesterday:
“You choices don’t hurt me. I can see that they’re hurting you though. What is going to be different this time?”
The easiest way to stay on track is to never get to far off track. With that in mind lets get rolling with the first of:
3 Strategies To Stay On Track With Your Best Plant Based Eating Choices This Holiday Season.
Stay On Track With Your Best Plant Based Eating Choices Strategy One: The Running Tally.
Do you have a general idea of the food you consume on a daily basis?
If you don’t, then it becomes really challenging to adjust accordingly when you have a day that’s a little more indulgent than planned. Those big outta-control-demolish-fest days might not happen very often. However over the holiday season, a little bit extra unplanned this and low value that can really add up.
It’ll add up weigh (!) too heavily if you do not keep a running tally and adjust accordingly.
To be specific, The Running Tally means you know the general guidelines you stick to and when you go over in one meal you adjust in the next.
=> Maybe some extra avocado at breakfast means you skip it at lunch.
=> Perhaps those 2 extra wines last night means you’re vino free tonight.
=> Possibly the sweet potato fries you just “had to have!” at dinner means a longer walk and a lighter dinner tomorrow.
It’s not an exact science however it’s an awareness. It’ll put a stop to a downward spiral into anything-goes-extreme-holiday-excess.
An important key to consider: You do need to adjust rather than succumb to the Borrowing From Tomorrow trap!
Borrowing From Tomorrow is that promise you make to yourself when you’re skipping an important action today or doubling up food / drink today that you don’t make up for tomorrow. It sounds reasonable in the moment:
=> An extra couple of coffees today? All good. I’ll skip the liquid gold completely tomorrow!!
=> No interval training today? I’ve got it covered. I’ll just do double tomorrow!!
=> Tidying up these left-over nuts and dips and roast veg today? It’s under control. Tomorrow will be extra-super-crazy-PERFECT!!
However the question to ask: How Often Do You Come Through For YOU Tomorrow?
Stay On Track With Your Best Plant Based Eating Choices Strategy Two: Zero Tolerance For Peer Pressure / Social Convenience.
Peer pressure sounds somewhat dated right? We’re not in the playground anymore. You’ll make your own choices. However, what about social convenience? It’s the adult version of peer pressure. Maybe a little more subtle.
Perhaps it’s when you’re doing rounds at the pub. It’s a gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon. You’re chillin with good friends. You’ve started as you mean to continue on vodka, soda fresh lime – even though most people are on the beers or ciders – however the lowest carb option is important to you.
And then, your mate trots off to the bar and comes back triumphant… with a jug of beer. And 3 glasses. “Oh come on!!! You’ll share this with me right? You wouldn’t leave me stuck. I can’t possibly drink it all on my own!”
This was my Sunday. And my mate can, and did (easily!) drink that jug of beer on his own. I was not tempted because I know you teach others how to treat you. “Just this once” is never “once”.
Equally, the free canapés or bar tab at your work party are not really free if they are not aligned with your goals and your values. They have a greater cost than financial cost you might have to bare to buy your own drinks or prepare your own pre/post party food.
The key is to hold firm to what is important to you while also making zero judgement on other peoples choices.
I’m learning this is particularly important when it comes to plant based eating. As tempting as it can be to share the horrific, compelling, undeniable facts – most people CHOOSE ignorance – because they are not ready to hunt down facts that will compel tham to make seemingly difficult changes. Having facts forced upon them before they are ready? It’s just not effective.
Unwavering yet Ungrandstanding is the approach I recommend.
Stay On Track With Your Best Plant Based Eating Choices Strategy Three: Make Home A Tempting Trigger Food Free Zone!
I will admit that I have a couple of huge advantages in the Best Plant Based Eating Choices game.
First: I live alone.
Second: My partner is at least as discerning as I am. He’s far from vego or vegan however he does apply extreme volition to his nutritional choices.
If you live alone and are single or have an equally supportive partner you have zero excuses. There is 100% no reason for tempting trigger foods to live in your home. As I’ve covered before, if it’s in your house you’ll eat it. I would too. If not right now then down the track. At that time when you’re: Tired. Stressed. Emotional. Starving.
Even if you do manage to resist that tempting trigger food that’s living in your home?
It’s eating away at your discipline. Just knowing it’s there and having to avoid it is a waste of your valuable (and limited) daily discipline quota. So ditch the tempting trigger foods today.
For those that don’t live alone there is still plenty you can do:
=> Take 100% responsibility and ditch the tempting trigger foods that are for you.
=> Where possible buy alternatives that the rest of the household like and yet you’re not crazy-outta-control tempted by.
=> Fill the house with great nutritious alternatives to turn to when temptation hits.
Most importantly: Be aware of what has tripped you up in the past and out-plan that trigger food situation happening again.
Equally: Consider how you will feel after a demolish fest. As I shared with another dear client yesterday, Guilt is a wasted emotion. There is zero value in giving yourself grief after the event. Have that tough talk with you (!) BEFORE you over indulge.
To get actionable today, so far as NOT sticking with your Best Plant Based Eating Choices what has tripped you up previously?
=> I know I’ve assumed the menu that was manageable last time would also be manageable this time and neglected to confirm.
The result? Way too many delicious sweet potato fries!
The solution? Confirm rather than assume!
Back to that action step, how can you learn from and out-plan a less than ideal choice in the past To Stay On Track With Your Best Plant Based Eating Choices This Holiday Season?
If you liked 3 Strategies To Stay On Track With Your Best Plant Based Eating Choices This Holiday Season, you’ll also like: 6 Steps To Easy Plant Based Eating (Part 1)
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