Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Don't Sweat the Holidays

The holidays always seem like that time of year, where people overindulge, stress too much, and then worry about the end result...typically 10-15lbs of weight gain.  Well, I'm here to let you know that you CAN maintain or even lose weight throughout the holidays! Better yet, you do not have to give up everything and feel like you are missing out on some favorite seasonal foods and beverages.

The most important thing you can realize is that there are 5 occasions between Thanksgiving and January 2nd where you can indulge, be a little carefree, and truly "let yourself go." However, you can only do this if you are disciplined and committed on the other 30 days!  The trouble is that people start the day before Thanksgiving and go all out until January 2nd!  The average weight loss in a year with most programs is 10lbs, and the average weight gain is 10-15 lbs.  Is it any wonder why we are getting fatter and more frustrated?  Let's make this year different BEFORE the New Years Resolution Season!

Here are your tips:Identify and schedule your "cheat" days, so you know when you can be NAUGHTY and when you have to be NICE! Naughty= Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, 1 or 2 social parties (work parties, family nights, etc.), and New Years Eve, or a few days/nights of Hanukkah but not all 8.
  1. On your NICE days, be good to yourself, be good to your body.  Exercise intensely for at least 30 minutes each day.
  2. On your NICE days, eat 3 balanced meals with 2-3 snacks, all LOW GLYCEMIC IMPACT FOODS (Level 1 is best).  Minimize grains, alcohol, sugars, saturated fats, increase Fiber, and drink WATER as your beverage.
  3. On your NICE days, perform 15 minutes of stress management exercises or techniques and get plenty of rest/sleep (6-8 hours)
  4. On your NICE days, avoid those tempting warm drinks like hot cocoa, latte's, as they are loaded with fat, sugars, sweeteners, etc.
  5. On your NAUGHTY days, still practice some moderation....indulge but do not overindulge.  On your NAUGHTY days, drink at least 12 oz of water before leaving your house or party time.  For every drink of alcohol, have 8oz water.
  6. On your NAUGHTY days, gin and vodka are best....try to avoid egg nog, ciders, beers, rum.  In best order: gin, vodka, is more about the MIXERS of juice and soda that gets us in trouble.  Try to limit the intake of the juices, soda, and sweeteners.
  7. On your NAUGHTY days, YOU are responsible for preparing and bringing the healthy alternative to the pot luck, and you must eat this as the majority of your plate before anything else.
  8. On your NAUGHTY days, eat a salad at home/restaurant before consuming anything else.
  9. On your NAUGHTY days, when eating out, split the meal with a guest or box 1/2 of it and bring home to spouse, friend, or you may have it for lunch as leftovers.  Do not overindulge on the breads, chips & salsa, popcorn and other pre-meal snacks.   
  10. On your NAUGHTY days, don't stress!  Enjoy yourself, do not feel guilty, just forgive yourself, and get on track on the NICE days.

Most importantly, on EVERY day, be grateful, thankful, and appreciative for everything you have in life!

Happy Holidays!