Have you ever found yourself spending the Holiday Season, Ho...Ho...Hoping (sorry, I'm a bit of a dork) you don't gain an insurmountable amount of unwanted fluff?
I know I have!!
This constant worry about losing control can take what should be a rejuvenating, joyous time of year and turn it in to a stress filled, anxiety driven blur; complete with lack of control wrapping paper and a bow laced with regret.
This is not a good mindset and feeling to have when entering the promise of a New Year.
Well, let me ease your minds and reduce the struggle this Holiday Season with five tips that will "Holiday Proof" your waistline.
So pull up a cozy chair, sip your favorite beverage, crank up the volume on "Last Christmas" and let's fill our plates to the brim with five fluff fighting strategies.
This one is pretty straight forward. If it's something you can purchase every single day of your life at the local grocery store...skip it. Save those precious delicious points (aka calories) for the special dishes made by your loved ones.
This tip alone, will typically keep your calories in check and your taste buds ecstatic.
Although this time of year is awesomely festive, a good strategy to use (when starting your day) is to treat it like any old run-of-the-mill weekday. Start your day (leading up to any big meal) drinking your water, eating your veggies and lean protein; while keeping your healthy fats and overall calories fairly low. This will allow plenty of room for those delicious calorie dense delights that are sure to come later in the evening.
Another benefit of this tip, is you'll feel much better in general and probably have much more control over the choices you make later on. Once you start down a "destructive" path, it's hard to turn that train around.
...I'm the realest!! (props to anyone who gets this reference) For realz dough (sorry, I can't stop), this Tip combined with Tip #2 will put a little Holiday swagger in your step.
When you are deciding which foods to pile onto your plate first, go for the lean protein and vegetables. Not only that, eat those options firstly as well. Both protein and vegetables (due to fiber and volume) are very filling. This tip will still allow you to enjoy the less "healthy" options, but with much greater discipline and control.
Start with the pies and finish in a "food coma".
OK, OK...so maybe things didn't go as planned. Your original goal was to keep the treats to a minimum and next thing you knew, you were elbow deep in an apple pie and shotgunning cool whip. You vaguely remember the uncomfortable feeling in your ever expanding stomach and the twinkle in your eye, as you spotted your favorite dessert sitting all alone at the edge of the holiday themed table...and then...fade to black.
You wake up the next day, with the remnants of last night's over-indulgences still plastered to the corners of your mouth, the final traces of marshmallow creme coursing through your veins and the feeling as though you were run over by a carb-filled bus.
What do you do?
Well firstly, cut yourself some slack. One day of overeating won't make any difference in the long run. However, in the short-term there is a way to get right back on track, feel much better and help negate any effects from the previous day.
Today, we shall fast my friend. Start your day with a big glass of water (16-24 ounces) and spend the rest of the day hydrating and using the occasional cup of coffee to stave off the impeding hunger. This immediate caloric deficit will help balance out the previous day and allow you to regain your momentum. Start the following day (after the fast) right where you left off, using your current nutritional strategy.
BOOM!! Easy work.
*It's important to note, this isn't a punishment for overeating, but instead just a strategy to regain momentum, get back on track and give your digestive system a break.
One bite, one meal or one full day of eating whatever you want, will not have any noticeable impact on your overall health or waistline. However, when occasional meals turn into days...weeks...months, the negative impact will become very noticeable when you look in the mirror or step on the scale.
This is a very special time of year. The delicious food is part of that, but only a small part. Instead, make a decision this year to over-indulge on the quality time and conversations with your family, friends and loved ones.
This Holiday Season, replace the continual empty calories with meaningful connections to both your favorite people on earth and the only body you'll ever have.
Let's finish up wrapping these gifts of nutritional freedom and tie 'em up tight with a "Bite-Sized Breakdown" bow.
Who doesn't love when the leaves start to reveal their colorful palettes, the air develops vampire-like canines, people seem a little more generous and the smell of cinnamon, pine cones and freshly baked goods fill the air. Holiday Season is a time to relax and enjoy those dearest to our hearts. It's also a time to enjoy food prepared with love.
Holiday Season is NOT a time to worry about, whether or not we are sabotaging our entire year's physical progress. It's also not an excuse to give-up, stop training or eat whatever we want...whenever we want. If you do, you'll end up entering the New Year feeling sick and depressed; without even the faintest smudge of momentum going toward the direction of your ultimate health and fitness goals.
By using the tips above and having a clear plan of attack, you will come out of this Holiday Season unscathed with your waistline intact. This will make it so much easier to keep progressing year after year, end the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting and finally gain control over your health.
Happy Holidays to the New You!!