It is always the same- We over eat during the holidays and then vow with our New Year's resolutions to take the holiday weight off and get healthy again! Let's do things differently this year! Let's make a committment to stay healthy during the holidays! Read the tips below and go into the 2010 holiday season determined to stay healthy and slim.
SET YOUR INTENTION
Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite treats guilt-free. During the holidays we often indulge and then feel guilty the next morning. To avoid this next-morning guilt, set an intention before each meal or holiday party and follow it. For example, it may be to enjoy a slice of your favorite pecan pie or sample one each of a few of the tasty appetizers. Another way to think about setting an intention is to ask your self “How do I want to feel tomorrow morning?” and “How do I need to behave tonight so that I wake up feeling good about my food decisions tomorrow?” The goal is to mindful with your eating choices.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Ask yourself: “How does the food taste to me?”; “How does it smell?”; “Am I full?”, “Am I eating according to the intentions I set?” This can be the greatest challenge of all. Try to check in with your body while you’re eating and make adjustments to stay within your goal. If the food doesn't meet your expectations, you can throw it away! You don't have to eat every bite of the food...there are no clean plate clubs!
Be sure to continue – or begin! – your exercise program. Carve out 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-5x/week and strength training 30 minutes 2-3 x/week. Do what you enjoy most: walking, running on the beach, swimming, yoga, Pilates, climbing stairs, playing tennis, etc. For strength training consider exercises that work the big muscle groups- squats, lunges, abdominal crunches combined with arm curls, tricep lifts and arm presses. Exercise increases endorphins which elevate your mood and can help manage holiday stress. Exercise also helps to burn calories and prevent overeating.
DO NOT SKIP A MEAL TO SAVE CALORIES
This often leads to excessive hunger, a preoccupation with food, and not feeling satisfied. If you skip a meal you are more likely to overdo it the next time. Instead, eating smaller meals regularly through out the day can keep hunger down.
EAT PROTEIN AT EVERY MEAL
Sugar and simple carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, cookies and pastries, cause your blood sugar to fluctuate. This leads to increased sugar cravings and overeating. Protein stabilizes blood sugar, decreases sugar cravings, guards against overeating and helps to keep your mood stabilized. Try these excellent and easy sources of protein: a handful of nuts, hummus, hard boiled egg, turkey, fish and beans. It is especially important to eat 15-20 grams of protein at breakfast time to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day.
Hydrating your body will increase your energy, detoxify your body, nourish your organs, keep your skin healthy, reduce headaches and increase your satiety. Challenge yourself to drink an extra 8-ounce glass of water for every serving of sugar, coffee and alcohol you consume during the holidays. As I have mentioned in previous articles, I recommend that individuals start with drinking 50% of their body weight in ounces of water per day- ex. If you weigh 200 pounds then drink 100 ounces of water, 150 pounds would be 75 oz of water.