The holiday hustle and bustle is in full swing, and for many of us that can feel like a losing battle when it comes to maintaining our health and fitness goals. I personally can think of five gatherings I’ll be attending where the temptation of all my favorite comfort foods will be luring me in.


     As someone who has struggled on both ends of the spectrum, from an eating disorder to carelessly binging, I know that neither option brings about healthy results — nor does it glorify our God. Therefore, I have curated six tips that will encourage us to become more mindful, self-controlled and confident over our food choices this holiday season — tips that do not deprive us from enjoying our favorite foods but will carry valuable momentum into the New Year!


1. Pray. God loves us so dearly that He gave us a plethora of beautiful foods to enjoy and freedom of choice in those foods; however, they should not be the center of our joy. Pray that the people around our tables will bring us more joy than the foods on our tables. With this mindset we are more focused on the hearts of our people than the food that is offered, which will help us not to overindulge and regret it later.


2. Set yourself and your environment up for success. Volunteer to bring a healthier dish, one that you p ersonally love, so you will gravitate toward this dish instead of ones that will leave you in regret.


3. Don’t skip the workout. Whether it’s a brisk walk around the neighborhood or your typical workout session, get your body moving and the endorphins flowing. Those endorphins can subconsciously carry over into your choices when it comes time to eat.


4. Drink your water. A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water every hour. I personally love spicing up my water with lemons, cucumbers and orange slices. Add a few to your water and enjoy the added benefits and flavor!


5. Develop a game plan. Decide before you go which treat you’re going to allow yourself to enjoy. Have you been thinking about the chocolate pie all day? Then go in knowing you are going to enjoy a piece! Remember we are not depriving ourselves, we are simply learning to practice self-control. Having a plan for what you’ll allow yourself to enjoy, and how much of it, is a great place to start.


6. Focus on the next right choice. I get it. It can be overwhelming. We have to give ourselves grace in this season, but if we can focus on just making the next right choice, it can feel like less of a monster to deal with.


     Remember, there will be a lot of things outside our control! Do not let that make you lose sight of what God HAS given you and me the gift of CHOICE over. Food is a gift from God, but it should not become our god; and as always, give yourself GRACE over this holiday season. Let it reveal to you where you can grow in Christ more. Christ meets our weakness with His strength.


Jade Whitehurst is a wife, mom, fitness coach and eighth-grade science teacher. You can follow her on Instagram @jadewhitehurst_fit (aka The Faith Fit Mom).