July 22, 2024

Don’t Let the Holidays Weigh You Down

The holidays are in full force! The time of year that single handedly instills guilt, adds on extra weight and depletes our ability to just say, “No!”  Whether it’s the holidays, a birthday or simply a challenging time, the following tips are designed to help you stay on track and feel great about yourself and your healthy living decisions. Healthy living is not about perfection, it’s more about making healthy changes that make sense for you and your lifestyle!

Know Your Achilles heel. Whether it is ice cream, vino, late-night snacks, or cookies, we all have a weakness in which we find ourselves vulnerable to the black hole of overeating. In fact, different people have different triggers that make saying, “No” impossible. These triggers propel all of us at one time or another into an eating frenzy that leaves us full of food and guilt. The holidays typically magnify this phenomenon. Thus, the best way to avoid this fate is to either plan ahead or avoid situations that trigger the behavior. For example, alcohol is a big trigger for snacking. Hence, if you’re going to a party or to dinner, always have a glass of water before ordering any alcoholic beverage. And from there, keep alcohol and water ratio 1:1.  Parties always cause panic in that the food choices are rarely health based. Therefore, bring a couple of your own heart healthy snacks that you feel comfortable nibbling on. And last but not least, never save up your calories for a dinner party, you’ll end up eating twice as much. 

Don’t Skimp on Protein. It appears that a correlation exists between an increase in the percentage of protein consumed and weight loss. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition (2005) showed that increased healthy proteins, combined with exercise, enhanced both weight and fat loss. As such, if you’d like to know what your body requires, visit eatright.org to find a Registered Dietitian in your area. Explore the best way to fuel yourself so you can keep your health and appetite in check! 

A Little Bit of Something is Better than a Whole Lot of Nothing. Somewhere along the way we were led to believe that if you can’t get in an hour at the gym, exercise is pointless, not true. Whether you have only 10 minutes or 20 minutes, do SOMETHING. The idea is to keep your body active as much as possible. Granted, the holidays usurp what little extra time we have, but the holidays are the most important time to stay on track, not just for vanity, but for sanity. If time is limited, kick up your intensity!  And remember, you can’t out-exercise overeating.

Use Sneaky Ways to Sneak in Exercise. In addition to the all or nothing tip with regard to exercise, the same myth exists about gyms. Some believe if you can’t join a gym, your exercise isn’t as beneficial, not true. For example, before bed, a few sit ups and pushups. At the office, dips on the edge of an office chair, wall sits while you’re chatting on the phone. These are all ways to sneak in exercise and let your body know, you’re in charge! 

Stay Away from Unrealistic Expectations. All too often, we begin a weight loss program with the expectation that in 6 weeks our life and body will be ideal. You and I know that’s not the case. Most often, 6 weeks later we’re feeling lousy because the diet didn’t work and we didn’t get to the gym every day like we thought we would. It’s imperative to take a look at your life and what changes make sense for today. While we know you do need exercise, stay away from the all or nothing scenario. Plan out your week and see what makes sense. Keep your expectations realistic and you’ll be far more likely to realize a healthier you.
Nicki Anderson  is the author of Nicki Anderson’s Single-Step Weight Loss Solution. She also a Columnist, Business Owner, and NASM Certified Trainer with over 25 years in the fitness industry. She can be contacted at nicki@realityfitness.com or www.realityfitness.com.

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