The Holiday season is a joyous time for friends and family to come together and celebrate some of the most important things in life; health, happiness, togetherness, family and love. There is one thing that goes along with this time of year that might not be so good for us, holiday food, and lots of it. Starting with Thanksgiving the traditions of the Holidays lead us to cook delicious meals consisting of a lot of “comfort” food. The BEST thing to do is stick with your healthy eating and activity levels throughout the holidays, but we know it’s still tough to stick to your “guns” during the holidays. If you veer away from your healthy lifestyle you can get back on track!
The best ways to get back on track with a healthy diet and exercise regimen after the Holiday Season
- Don’t continue down the Holiday eating frenzy path! Okay, so you over indulged, it happens, but don’t use the holiday leftovers as an excuse to keep over-eating! Get rid of your leftovers and make smart decisions. Be sure to return to balanced meals that consist of protein, fat, and carbohydrates this way you will stay fuller longer and balance your blood sugar which will help to reduce cravings.
- Beat the cravings! Cravings only last for 4-12 minutes, so if you do get the sudden urge to dig into the apple pie, walk away! Literally, find something to busy yourself, like taking a walk, and you’ll kick you craving right out the door with those unwanted Holiday guests!
- Eat Breakfast! We know you are trying to eat less, but skipping meals will NOT help you get back to a healthy routine. Eating breakfast starts your metabolism and one of the 4 key behaviors identified as crucial for maintaining weight loss. What are the other (3) key behaviors? 1. Weigh yourself weekly 2. Watch less television 3. Exercise at least 3 hours a day Learn More from the National Weight Control Registry: http://www.nwcr.ws/Research/default.htm
- Close up the liquor cabinet! They Holidays are usually combined with fine wines and spirits to compliment the calorie-laden meals, well guess what, alcohol has calories too and a lot of them! Alcohol also affects blood sugar and lowers inhibitions that can lead you to eat more! Switch to water after the holidays, adding a lemon or lime for flavor, and you will be better able to manage walking past the fridge without peaking inside for a treat.
- Water, water everywhere! Drink at least 1 Liter (32oz or 4-8oz cups) MORE than usual. Being under hydrated can lead to an increase in cravings for sweets and salts. Plus, we need extra water to help our body process alcohol and excess food out of our system.
- Don’t stop cooking! A great way to get back on track after the Holidays is to cook some of your favorite healthy meals. This way, you’re still having home cooked, delicious food that will fill you up but won’t leave you with guilt later.
- Keep it (or get it) moving! Did you have an exercise regimen you were building before the Holidays? Get back to it, or set up a new one! The average American consumes 4,500 during a traditional Holiday feast and gains 1 to 2 pounds over the holiday season! WOW! Get back to being active to burn off those mashed potatoes and pumpkin pies!
- Fruits and Veggies! We should be consuming at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fiber and are a great snack that fills you up. Try substitution your afternoon snack with a piece of whole, fresh fruit!
The # 1 tip for getting back on track after the Holiday Season is to ditch the guilt! Don’t keep putting yourself down for indulging the holiday food; it is a season to be enjoyed. Start fresh TODAY, don’t wait until tomorrow or next week.
“You will regret tomorrow what you did not do today.”
Happy New Year!