It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is upon us. That means, as well as good cheer, good food is abundant! The holidays are also the time of year that people put on the most weight and keep it on throughout the year. You know what I’m talking about!
“No problem,” you’re thinking, “I’ll enjoy myself and come January, I’ll go on that diet I’ve been talking about and finally lose the extra belly weight that has been creeping up over the past few years.”
SERIOUSLY??? Do you think this plan is going to get approval from me – sorry, but I have a strict no excuses policy!
Every year millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, thinking the fresh start that the New Year brings is the optimal time. However, waiting for the New Year is just another EXCUSE that ultimately allows us to procrastinate taking charge of our health even further. Worse, because we have it in our head that we are going to “diet” in the New Year, we allow ourselves to overindulge. This makes our weight loss goals even more difficult to attain by adding to the problem over the holidays!
Let me tell you straight out there is never going to be an “ideal” time to make the nutrition and lifestyle changes required to lose the weight and get healthy once and for all. There is always going to be a birthday party, an anniversary, a vacation or another Christmas with the family.
Diets don’t work! Losing weight and getting healthy is a lifestyle choice and let me be very clear, that means that ANYTHING you do to lose weight that you can’t continue to do for the rest of your life is a diet and will not stick, I promise.
The following are my top five tips on how to make it through the holidays without gaining weight, and get a head start on becoming a healthy new you!
1) Don’t “save” calories!
Many people believe that they should skip meals prior to a big holiday party in an attempt to prevent weight gain. This is probably the worst thing you can do! By skipping meals you are only setting yourself up to overeat at the party. We are all weird the same. If we deprive ourselves and end up with low blood sugar, we will eat ANYTHING in sight! I always recommend that clients stick to their regular balanced meal plan and I even suggest a small all natural protein shake with lots of greens before a cocktail party so that you will eat less of the “treats” at the party. Trust me, it works!
2) Bait and switch!
One of the biggest pitfalls during the holiday season is the consumption of alcohol. Let’s be clear, alcohol in and of itself will not make you fat (more on that in a subsequent post). However, if you don’t understand how its metabolized and how it affects your behavior and account for those things accordingly. It certainly can lead to weight gain.
A few too many cocktails can cause a loss of inhibitions, motivation and massive craving for all sorts of unhealthy food! Not to mention, too much alcohol can adversely affect sleep patterns and therefore, completely throw you off the next day too! Tired = Hungry.
Like the majority of my clients, you may find it difficult to completely abstain from alcohol, especially over the holidays. I suggest you keep it to a two drink maximum and make sure you drink water or some club soda with lemon in between. What I do is order a glass of wine when someone offers to buy me a drink, and then order myself a soda water in between. This way you always have a drink in hand! Nobody has to know its a virgin, so they won’t give you a hard time for ordering water!
3) Morning exercise
Not only is it difficult to stay on track with a nutritious eating plan during the holidays, but finding the time to get in your workouts feels near impossible. Many of you may not be morning people and I’ll confess, neither am I, but I love morning workouts for the following reasons:
4) The food diary
Commit to writing down everything you eat. Write down everything from the “sample” of whip-cream covered hot chocolate they were serving at Starbucks to the home-baked cookies your colleague brought in. This will help you to be much more conscious of what you are eating! Not only will it help you turn down many unhealthy treats, it will show you exactly where you are on track or need improvement! Its not about being “bad” or “good” its knowing where the weakest link is and then working on that!
5) Tap into your feelings
Throughout the day, but especially when you’re at a Christmas party, keep asking yourself “how will this food make me feel”? Unhealthy food, which I define as anything that is overly processed (think pigs in a blanket), deep fried, chemically laden, pre-packaged or full of sugar. Will inevitably make you FEEL BAD and drain your energy and motivation! Choosing what will make you “feel good” is a concept I use with my clients as its very easy to apply. Avoid feeling lethargic, bloated, tired, guilty and more cravings for junk food by choosing live, enzyme rich, nutrient dense whole foods instead! Don’t do it because I told you to! Don’t do it because you’re on a “diet”! Don’t do it because you don’t want to get “fat”! Do it because you deserve to feel AMAZING! Love yourself enough to treat your body with the care it deserves! The rest will follow!
If you’re sick of making the same New Year’s Resolutions year after year that don’t stick -send me a message firstname.lastname@example.org and discover Real Life, Real Food, Real Solutions!