The holidays are just around the corner! You're probably wondering how you enjoy the holiday meals without completely derailing your healthy lifestyle efforts. There's nothing more deflating than taking 5 steps back after it took you months to take 10 steps forward. So I'm here to give you a plan that will allow you to enjoy the holidays without feeling deprived or deflated.
First, make sure you're drinking plenty of water and drink at least 8 ounces of water just before you sit down to eat. Next, fill at least 1/2 of your plate with a fresh, non starchy vegetable. Preferably this vegetable would be raw and without a sauce or dressing already added to it. If there's a sauce or dressing you want to put on the vegetable be conscious of your serving size. Third, fill 1/4 portion of your favorite starchy vegetable. If there are sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and stuffing- pick your favorite or a bite of each- whatever you have room for on 1/4 of the plate. Last, fill that plate with protein! Keep in mind that if you're planning to add gravy, butter or other fat containing extras to your food then you should stick with a lean meat. If you're doing pretty well steering clear of the high fat dishes then feel free to go with that dark, fattier meat. Last but not least, pick an extra food item. This is a holiday after all. This could be the dinner roll or bread on the table OR a small portion of the yummy dessert that's going to be served.
Always show up to dinner with a plan in your head about what you're going to pass along without partaking at the dinner table. This should be the foods that you don't enjoy the most or don't think you'd really miss that much if you didn't have them. For example, the bread or dinner rolls are probably not unique to your holiday meal. Maybe in years past you'd take a certain side dish to be polite- that's the one you pass along without taking.
There are so many more strategies for holiday health that I'll be sharing in other posts so stay tuned. But for now, get your plate strategy worked out. Remember, fail to plan then plan to fail.
Today's the day. In fact, this moment is the moment. RESET yourself. Thanksgiving was last week and Christmas is coming up but there's no reason to let that make all the days between unhealthy.
Here's how I want you to reset yourself:
1. Exercise- get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise in the next week.
2. Water- drink enough water that your urine is clear.
3. Eat your vegetables!- eat at least 7 servings of vegetables (extra credit if they're raw) every day this week!
And to reset your mind you should write some goals that you can achieve by the end of December. Make the goal about a healthy behavior or a fitness achievement.
Put reminders for yourself about you reset behaviors and goals somewhere that you'll see them every single day!!
Did you know that gratitude is an important part of your mental health? And like any other healthy habit, practicing gratitude takes discipline. There's no time like the thanksgiving holiday to start practicing gratitude in your life every day!
Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist that has studied the brain and how it changes with different thoughts. She says, "If you can’t appreciate what you have to be thankful for right now, it is harder to achieve what you desire in the future." And she goes on to say, "Gratitude is therefore essential to overcoming difficult circumstances and achieving success in all areas of your life!"
It's really quite simple to start practicing gratitude. Set an alarm on your phone for a time of day that you're awake and can take a few moments to stop what you're doing and think about what you're grateful for! Some people like to keep a journal or write large lists but you can make it as simple as listing in your head 5 things you're thankful for every day.
The Holiday season is here and with it comes the high calorie food. It seems to be everywhere! Baked goods at the office, cookies at home, candy waiting for stockings in the cabinet, potlucks, gifts given to you of sweet treats, parties and gatherings with large spreads of food. You’re literally surrounded by temptations and empty calories. Allow me to share a few strategies to keep the pounds off the scale and the inches from around your waist this holiday season.
PICK YOUR PARTY
You can GO to all the parties but don’t eat all the bad food at all the parties. Pick one party on your calendar that you’ll allow yourself to indulge and for the remainder of the parties stick with the healthier options.
No matter where you go or what your entrée is, fill your plate with vegetables first and take up at least half your plate. Filling up with high fiber nutritionally dense foods will help you mitigate your calorie intake.
PICK YOUR TREAT
If you decide you’re at a party and something looks too delicious to pass up or you only get to eat something this time of the year then EAT IT! Sometimes saying “no” too often or to something you want too much will set you up for a binge. If you decide to eat a treat, just pick your favorite indulgence and eat ONE serving.
An enormous amount of calories can be consumed before you ever even chew your first bite of food. Instead of drinking sugary and/or alcoholic beverages, drink water! Especially drink water at the party where you’re planning to eat all the higher calorie foods.
PASS ON SECOND HELPINGS
Chances are you have had enough to eat after your first serving of food. Savor every bite and call it good. Taking more will leave you in calorie overload, feeling bloated and disappointed. Is that really worth it?
Take those five steps and you’ll be having a healthier holiday season!