Holiday Season is a traditional time for sharing food with family and friends. This celebratory air often leads to excess. Just like an average employeesʼ two week vacation hours per fiscal year, it is okay to “take time off” from focusing on the benefits of healthful eating, so long as we stay within our two week limit. It is when you constantly seek out “vacation time” that you lose focus on the true benefits a healthy lifestyle can bring.
You do not need to up your exercise game or fad diet sampling just because the holidays have arrived. Adopting a healthy, nutritionally sound eating habit throughout the year will help alleviate the infrequent excesses that are a part of normal life.
It is a common assumption that increasing exercise duration and/or intensity will counter act excess calories accrued during Holiday Binging. Beyond the fact that it is a matter of what you eat and how much that together effect your long term health, and not just the amount of calories alone; in terms of math, there is a certain truth to this common belief. I.E.: If you ate 500 calories too many it goes to follow that burning 500 calories is a seemingly simple solution to balance the caloric scales. This is, however a dangerous paradigm.
Allowing yourself continuous periods where you go unchecked in your nutritional consumption and using exercise, dieting, or any other quick fix means may bring on more binge eating over time. Encouraging a habit where you can “let go” and then “buckle down” afterwards creates a repetitive and uneven pattern that can be taxing, unhealthy, and addictive.
If you do adopt Holiday Related diets/exercises I encourage you to think about this: what happens after the diet/intense exercise ends? Has the diet/exercise taught you how to act within your nutritional/physical needs? Is the diet/exercise plan of the moment meant to be a long term gig? If it is not long term, then you are still left with the need to investigate and understand -for yourself- how much is too much and how little is too little so that you can live the healthiest, and most satisfying life possible.