It is that time of year! For festive family gatherings, some cutthroat snow ball fights, and a helping of over indulging! Research shows that people average a 1 pound weight gain during the holidays. Now that doesn’t seem too alarming, one pound… can use that New Year’s resolution of going to the gym everyday to burn that off in no time. Unfortunately the research continues to say that this one pound stays on your body for the rest of the year, so slowly but surely that extra intake in December is adding a little extra to your waist line! But have no fear there are some simple solutions and strategies to avoid needing bore a new whole in the belt.
Feasts: Many times over the holiday season you may be cooking, participating, and/or attending large gatherings where the sole purpose is it to make and eat as much delicious food as possible with family, friends, coworkers, etc. These are wonderful events to reconnect, relax, and have fun; they can also be great places to overeat. Some tips: always have a snack before going! I know some of you are shouting WHAT! But I have been fasting all day to eat everything I want at that meal. Sadly, your body does not find this to be a wise plan. Our eyes tend to be bigger than our stomach and our stomach requires more time to tell our brain we are full then it takes to eat 2-3 plates of food.
So before you head off to eat your fill, have some apple and cheese slices, hummus and veggies/pita, or a couple of dates and nuts. I’m not saying to eat an entire meal, but some food that allows you to no longer feel starving. Never go hungry to a dinner party!
Shopping: Been to a mall lately?? They are mad houses, everyone dashing around the city trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on their shopping list. Well yes, this can burn calories; unfortunately it opens you up to losing your personal time where you might have relaxed or exercised and creates an environment that makes easier to grab fast-food treats. Solutions? PLAN! Just like you made a list of gifts before starting your shopping excursion make a snack or two to bring with you on your trip. So when the shopping gets tough and the lines are atrocious you can pull out a snack designed to make you healthy person. Don’t give yourself the opportunity of picking up a warm pretzel, slice of pizza, or heaven forbid a Cinnabon. With planning comes peace and success in weight loss and weight management during this season.
Think outside when you think gifts: The holidays are a great time for family and friends to spend time together. Buy gifts that involve being outside or moving. Get a pogo stick for a kid, heck or even for an adult, I bet everyone will want to try it! Put a hula-hoop or jump rope in a stocking… Think outside of the box. Get airplanes that you have to shoot off in parks, which require you to fetch the plane when it lands far away! Steer clear of the video/electronic/game system games that require little to no activity! The holidays can be a time where the whole family is active together. If it is snowy sledding, skating, heck snow angels are great ways to pass an afternoon! Nothing says the holidays quite like watching football, how about arranging a fun pick-up game during half-time or before the game begins to get everyone excited! Make your holidays filled with activity and your extra calorie intake will be balanced by your increased level of fun!
Be conscious! The last tip I will leave you with is to be mindful of what you eat. If you can do only one thing this holiday season, I would ask for you think about everything you put into your body. Acknowledge that you ate 7 cookies had 2 glasses of eggnog or pumpkin pie for breakfast followed by a snack of candy. The first step in having a healthy lifestyle is recognizing your current pattern, behavior, and activities. Take a moment and say this is what I ate today, how do I feel about what I ate today? You can even write down your feelings and food to reflect on the following evening. This mindfulness is not to make yourself feel bad or depressed, but to recognize where you are now and where you want to be next year. What can you control? What could you try tomorrow so when you review what you had, you might feel better? This is your life, what makes you happy? What are your priorities?
I wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season! Of course if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
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