by Mary Moskowitz MS CHC and Laura Manual MA Ed.S
Weight Loss Center of Maine
Do you have mixed feelings about the impending holiday season? Many of our clients seem more stressed than excited. The holidays can bring up mixed feelings for many. It is exciting yet challenging. You may be doing really well eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep and then it all goes to pot! There is too much to do, no time for the gym, and the exact foods you are trying to avoid haunt you at every turn. What can you do?
Here are our 12 top tips for avoiding the extra holiday pounds and staying healthy. Give them a try!
Crowd it out! Ruin your appetite! Make sure to fill up on the good stuff. Before the holiday get-togethers, eat a big salad, a handful of raw nuts or a bowl of veggies. Don’t show up hungry or you will eat more of what you don’t want. Make sure to eat enough good fats and protein early in the day and with each meal so you feel more full and satisfied later. Fill your plate with veggies and protein first.
When there are appetizers, mingle in another area. You will find if you are not around the food it will be hard to eat it, especially if you are busy talking. On the other hand, if you are in close proximity to the food it is easy to bite, nibble and taste even when you are not hungry.
Size up that table before digging in. When food is laid out on a table take a minute or two to look at all the options before making your selection. By knowing the food options you can develop a plan to take the foods that will help you to reach your goals and bypass those you don’t want.
Bring something healthy. Chances are others will want it too!
Portions still matter. Take what you want the first time and skip the second (and third) helpings!
Remember what is special. If it is Thanksgiving and grandma makes a once-a-year pumpkin pie, it may be a specialty item for you to enjoy a little bit. However, rolls, mashed potatoes and ice cream are really not all that special or unique, so skip those foods!
Keep in mind how you want to feel. You want to feel healthy and happy after a holiday. Nobody likes to feel overly full and lethargic. Keep this in mind when you are making your choices.
Drink water and stay hydrated. Many mistake thirst for hunger. Drink a tall glass of water and wait to see if you are really hungry or if the water satisfies the cravings. Skip the sugary juices, sodas, sports drinks and flavored coffees. They are your body’s worst enemy when it comes to your health and waist.
Take a walk. Don’t make exercise one more big event you must squeeze into your busy schedule. Whenever you can, take a few minutes and just move. Go walk the stairs a couple of times, run a hill, walk around your house or your neighborhood a few times, do some sit ups or push ups while watching TV or use the 20 minutes you would spend on facebook or your computer to just get out and move. These short bursts of movements will add up by the end of the day. No excuses – you can do it!
Prioritize self care. The best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones is prioritizing your own health and wellness. If you are feeling energized and happy you will be more present for others and you will be a wonderful role model for your family. Indulge in healing baths, massages, energy work and yoga classes. Learn to nourish yourself in non-food ways and in whatever will support your health. It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself first. It will allow you to be more alive and present to others when they need you most. When life is busy and stressful, you need self care even more! “Be the change you wish to see.”
Deal with chronic health conditions now. If you are struggling with a chronic health condition, get help today and don’t put it off. Find an integrative health care practitioner who will take the time to discover the underlying cause of your struggles so you can regain optimal health. It is the end of the year, and you have most likely met your insurance deductibles before the new year kicks in so don’t delay- get the support you need – you can’t do it alone! This is the best use of your time and money- there is no better gift.
Post this article on your refrigerator!
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”
~ Mike Murdock
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