Holidays Got Me All Like.....
Tips Before Tipsy
My clients start scrambling this time of year seeking nutrition advice while in the throes of the holiday season. Which sometimes can be a little too late to start taking precautions. I gently remind them of the statistic in which the average American gains 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. For REALS. So before you head out to that holiday par-tay, here are a few quick tips to keep you in check:
1. Eat. BEFORE you go to parties. And make sure there is some lean protein in that pre-party meal. Protein fills your belly AND breaks down alcohol. So we stay more sober and we munch less.
2. Before you dig in, grab a small plate and fill it. Once :)
3. Pick lot of healthy veggie options off of the crudités tray.
4. Try to only have one or two small things that are breaded and/or fried if you simply can't resist.
5. Still have the munchies? Refer back to #3.
Listen to Your Body
However my tips aren't the only things that I tell clients. So what else you ask? 4 simple words.... Go-With-Your-Gut! However, I don't mean that in the sense of solely going with instincts, however that is definitely part of it. When I say go with your gut, I mean it in the following:
Go with your Gut Meaning # 1- INSTINCT. As mentioned above. You know what you should be doing because your brain tells you. It's just up to you to listen. And we don't always listen. Deny if you will, but we all keep a running tally in our heads of what we've consumed in that particular day. In fact, we can usually remember as far back as the entire week, so let's keep it real :-) You know what you've consumed prior and you also know if those 13 pigs in a blanket are really your best idea.
Go with your Gut Meaning #2 - BALANCE. Where are you right now in terms of your health and weight? Could you use a few more pounds on that frame? If so, you are 15% of the population in which I'm envious of.
If you are entering the holiday season in your physical happy place, you then want to maintain the goods. Don't start skipping workouts out "because it's holiday time." In fact, maybe even throw in an extra workout or two as crazy as that sounds! This is the time of year that most of us need to expend those extra calories. Definitely have a little bit of the things that you love at your holiday parties and meals. But be sure maintain your good, healthy and clean eating and exercise regime as you would on the regular.
Finally, if you aren't exactly where you'd like to be.....
Go with your Gut Meaning #3 - ASSESS. Are you currently overweight and know that you have a few extra pounds you could lose to improve your health and probably happiness? And do you really want to exacerbate the situation and set yourself back even further? Probably not. Please know that I'm not saying that you need to diet during the holidays because that just plain sucks. But I am saying to tighten up a little bit. Have that annual glass of eggnog and have grandma's holiday cookies, but like one or two. I always tell my clients that a "success" during the holiday season is to maintain and not gain. No one is going to lose weight at this time of year. And if you have big get healthier plans for your New Year's resolution, maybe kick those off a week early to get a running start? No time like the present and for most of us our work lives slow down between Christmas and New Year's anyway. If the gym is unfamiliar territory, this could be an ideal time to go in and get acclimated with the equipment before the masses come rolling in.
The Balancing Act
The word balance is so used and abused but that's what we all really need to practice, no matter which of the 3 meanings apply. At the end of the day, it's calories in and calories out but let's not forget the quality of calories are also critical. 400 calories from 3 cookies or 400 calories from a delicious and portion controlled Christmas dinner, are going to wreak havoc on your body in a completely different way (bloating, gut inflammation, etc.). Also don't be fooled by these so-called "diet" packaged and processed desserts. Your best bet is to have a LITTLE BIT of the real thing (i.e. homemade). You always want to try to go unprocessed as much as possible. Bake those cookies at home and leave those ones in the blue and white box with tons of high fructose corn syrup, crystalline sugar, hydrogenated oils and about 15 other ingredients that we can't pronounce in the store. You know that homemade will taste better anyway!
Check out next weeks blog on my "Vegan for a Week" experiment. It was quite the learning experience and I dropped 5 pounds without even thinking about it! You can check it out at www.susanreardonwellness.com