The spirit of Thanksgiving pushes gratefulness and satisfaction to the forefront of our minds. Those who have often give back those who do not, and we revel in the simple pleasure that is gathering around a home cooked meal with our family and friends.

It is this attitude that exemplifies our finest qualities as humans, but can also lead to derailing our own personal goals in regards to our health and wellness. As we are drawn to the table for seconds, or to another holiday party for drinks, we fall further from our intentions to be the best versions of ourselves.

You shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying the holiday season, nor should you skip over some of the simple pleasantries that the spirit of the season provides. Instead, look to these five tips to stay motivated and stay on track!

1. Be Accountable
So, you had an extra slice of pie and helped finish off that bottle of wine at dinner this year… OK. Don’t attempt to rationalize it, defend it, or act like it didn’t happen. Simply accept it for what it was and move on with the intent to be better.
Far too often the guilt of eating a “treat” can become too much to handle and cause the individual feeling it to just throw in the towel altogether. You’ll never be perfect in your diet, nor should you want to be…accept that every now and again you’ll have a treat and that is perfectly normal.

2. Be Open about your Goals
Don’t make it a secret that you are working to keep weight off, lose a few pounds, or simply feel a bit better. Approach your next dinner or gathering with a simple, “I’m not going to be overdoing it today, so please don’t be offended if I’m not eating as much”. It is a weird conversation starter for sure, but it is one that will bring a sense of relief to you as you go forward.
Just don’t talk about it the whole time. Say it once and go about your day.

3. Have a Buddy
Everything in life is a little bit better when you are enjoying it with someone else. This is even truer when the journey is harder. Enlist your family member, or a close friend in your journey and push each other with friendly competition to keep doing well. Don’t compare numbers per se, but rather the effort and consistency each of you put out.

4. Train a bit Harder
It isn’t advisable to look at calories in (eating) as justification to work harder at getting calories out (exercise). You do not want to develop a negative relationship with food in the long term.
However, during the holiday season it can be advisable to train a little harder, or more frequently, when you know that your dietary selections may not be normal. Don’t skip that last sprint, or snooze past your morning alarm for the gym – go out there and get it so that you can enjoy your life when you can.

5. Be Thankful
No matter how tough it is to lose weight, or how frustrated you are with the process, realize how fortunate you are to even have the capacity to think about your body. Many people all over the world simply wake to survive another day. Whether they fight against hunger, drought, tyranny, and many other occurrences – they are consumed with something bigger.

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