Stress is a major culprit to gaining weight or dealing with other health problems over the holidays. Allowing family stress to ruin the holidays’ joy and fun is avoidable. This is why establishing and understanding your healthy boundaries and others is important to get started now before it is too late.
Boundaries allow you to manage or eliminate your stress and others so you can enjoy the holidays and not sabotage your health. Through boundaries, you are simply opening communication to let your loved ones know how you want to be treated or what is expected of you to live a happy and healthy life concerning their values.
The following tips for setting healthy boundaries and why it is important to do during the holidays:
Change Your Perspective on the Word “No”
Saying no does not have to be a negative thing. Just because you are declining food or a certain event doesn’t mean it will hurt their feelings or be dramatic. When you answer yes to something, you are actually dropping another opportunity, too, without realizing it. Therefore, you need to be sure you always make the right decisions for yourself. If you want to say no, decline respectfully.
Avoid Excuses and Have Open Communication
Be clear about why you are setting a certain boundary, and don’t feel guilty about it. However, be sure you are honest about it and clearly communicate why you need to develop a certain boundary. This is also important to be sure you are not crossing any limitations with your family as well. This means avoiding making excuses or lies just to get out of it. Excuses only provide details to others that are not true to yourself. For example, you have every right not to want to eat or participate in something. So be honest about it.
Share Them Early and Be Clear
Let your family know your boundaries right away and even ask theirs in return, especially if you are worried about your health. Let them know your limitations and expectations nicely, and don’t expect anything in return.
Expect Some to React Negatively but Don’t Take It Personally
In the end, some of your family may not have the best reaction to your boundaries. However, it is important to take a moment to step back and not react personally nor right away. Often, negative reactions are only a misunderstanding, and you have to do more with them than you. Meaning they believe your boundary is a reflection that you have a problem with them. Of course, this is not true, and you just need to be understanding and communicate it.
Be sure not to react the same. While boundaries are important, it is natural some will have a negative reaction at first. However, as you provide more details in a calm and detailed way, they will understand as time goes on.
Here are 5 myths to learn in order to maintain your weight during the holidays:
You’ll Lose the Weight Fast
Actually, even if you only gain a little, it can take roughly five months or longer to lose the weight. If you never lose weight over time, this can become a significant weight gain. Therefore, it is vital
to make the festive season/holidays an important time to be more mindful no matter how many temptations.
Holiday Weight Gain is Due to Inactivity
Most holiday weight gain is due to water retention. This is likely due to the increased consumption of salt, alcohol, and sugar. Meaning you need to consume more water during this time than you normally would if you indulge a little. Drinking enough fresh filtered water (add some lemon if you like) can help flush out the sugar and sodium your body is trying to hold onto from your holiday diet.
It’s Common to Gain Ten Pounds or Go Up a Full Size
Thankfully, this one is another important myth. Even if you were to lose control completely, it is unlikely you will gain that much. On average, people who are of average weight gain about a pound and a half. While those who are overweight already will gain roughly two to three pounds. While still small, it can add up over time as it is much harder to lose weight than to gain it.
Skipping Meals or Saving Calories Works
Saving calories can lead to overindulging during the holidays. The best strategy is to incorporate intermittent fasting instead. While technically skipping breakfast, you are still not limiting your food as you would strictly skipping meals. Instead, it gives you a short window of time to eat while you are hungry to improve your digestion and promote weight loss or maintenance. This way, you are not limiting yourself completely and can better control your cravings and portion sizes during the holidays.
Weight Gain is Inevitable During the Holidays
This is another myth that is only true if you don’t do the work required. You can still enjoy the holidays without sacrificing your health or avoiding your favourite treats. It just requires planning, mindfulness, and understanding that moderation is THE key.
As you can see, holiday weight gain is ultimately not that scary or difficult. However, it always is important to be prepared and not overdo it, in order to live a more sustainable and happier life. Your health is important now and should never be sacrificed for future results.