It is the end of yet another year…where does the time go? The holidays are a whirlwind of fun parties, trips to the mall, happy hours and family get-togethers. It can sometimes seem impossible to maintain your healthy eating habits and your sanity amongst all of the chaos, but Longevity is here to tell you how you can! Forget about sinking your diet ship and consider making small changes to stay afloat. Follow these 12 tips to indulge AND stay on track with your wellness goals throughout this busy season.
- Start your day with protein. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but make sure you focus on protein as the key player. Foods high in protein such as eggs, cottage cheese, meats, and plain Greek yogurt help to make you feel fuller longer, keeping that appetite and cravings for Christmas treats in check. Less sugar=less room for weight gain!
- Hydrate. Hydrate. With water. Well hydrated bodies are important when it comes to losing weight or preventing weight gain. You may think you already drink plenty of water; however, most people do not. Dehydration can cause feelings of fatigue, hunger, and changes in skin appearance (who wants that before the office Christmas party?), among many other things.
- Eat slowly. Concentrate on your food as you eat it. Take in and enjoy every smell, taste and texture that each bite offers. This takes practice, so use the week before your holiday meal(s) to slow. Down. A more mindful approach to eating allows our body to relax, and when our body relaxes we are able to digest our food more efficiently. You may even find yourself more satisfied with less food.
- Think small spoonful’s of sides. If you do not want to completely avoid all of the unhealthier side dishes, allow yourself 2 tablespoons of each. Taking this approach allows you to indulge without the bulge! Need to be picky with your options? Pick light turkey over the darker meat, and pumpkin pie instead of pecan.
- Drink 2-3 cups of organic green tea daily. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, which combat free radicals and toxins. Green tea phytosome, a natural component of green tea, increases your body’s metabolic rate (so—you burn through those turkey and pumpkin pie calories quicker!). Take a green tea phytosome supplement if the hot stuff is not your flavor! (can buy at Longevity)
- Bring your own healthy dish (or dishes). Feeling as though you are in control of your choices eases some of the discomfort of holiday eating. Knowing exactly what ingredients you put into your own recipes takes away the guess work, so you can enjoy at least some of the options guilt-free.
- Do not go to parties hungry. Resist the urge to “save all of your calories” until the big party or the big meal. This strategy is sure to fail. Eat a small snack (apple with spoonful of almond butter) and drink a bottle of water 1-2 hours before so that you are not tempted to devour the tray of cookies, and allow yourself just one. This trick helps to stabilize your blood sugar and prevent those crazy hangry moments (not sure what hangry means? Imagine a time when you were so hungry you said things you eventually regretted after you finally got food…)
- Hold yourself accountable. Find your favorite pair of jeans that fit just perfect, and try them on at least every other day until the New Year. This takes our fixation off of the number on the scale (which can fluctuate naturally on a daily basis) and gives us a good idea of whether or not our eating habits have gotten out of control. Feeling snugger than yesterday? Keep your calories in check for a few days and make sure to exercise.
- Speaking of exercise, crank it out! Sweat a bit more during this time of year. Even adding one exercise session or another form of physical activity a week (taking extra laps around the mall as you shop…) will zap more calories and helps to offset less healthy meal choices. Bonus: exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good and lead to healthier decisions throughout your day.
- Make yourself a deal. Plan your splurges before they happen, and take at least one healthy action before. Are you eyeing the Christmas cookies that someone placed in the break room? Or maybe Grandma’s famous fudge? Plan to eat a small amount, with the exception that you will drink 8 oz more water or walk for 20 minutes before you indulge.
- Make sleep a priority, especially as we wrap up the year. Life seems to get busier and busier around the holidays, so make it your goal to not sacrifice sleep. Lack of the proper amount of sleep increases the circulation of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies, which can slow down metabolism and store body fat.
- Create a new healthy tradition. Whether it be signing up for a 5K or revamping the holiday menu, enlist the entire family. Health and wellness goals can be difficult to stick with on our own, so do it with friends and loved ones and make it fun!
Now go on and enjoy yourself, and remember what it is that is most important to you. Find your connection, community, joy, nourishment and rest that you love (and need), and do it without regrets!
Accountability and support sure do help, so if you need a little boost, call Longevity at 405-703-4990 and schedule your FREE consultation with our amazing Dietician, Kristen. Visit our website HERE to learn more!