“I’ll just start that at the beginning of the Year.” Heard this before? This is a common sentence heard in every office, home, car; you name it, during this time of the year. The holidays get busy and stressful so most people put off things in order to deal with everything that comes with this season. One of these things is their health.
“Results of multiple studies agree that in western societies, the winter holidays are a high risk period, with an average weight gain of 0.4 to 0.7 kg and that gains of this magnitude are sufficient to drive the obesity epidemic in the United States.” -Schoeller, 2014
Although this may not sound like a lot in terms of weight; it’s the fat that is put on that does the most damage. Putting on 1 to 1.5 pounds of fat every Mid-November to Mid-January from the age of 20 to 45 – that equals 25-40 lbs of extra “love” you just put on your body. So, knowing this; do you want to be the statistic or be a leader and take charge of your health? No one likes be that “Guy” or Gal” that is eating something different or deciding not to have a drink at dinner. I’ve been that “Guy” for a long time and I somehow still have friends. They just except me for all my weirdness and your loved ones will too. Especially when you decide to change how you view things and approach them.
Here are some ways to make this Holiday season successful in terms of your health:
- Get out and MOVE every day. Use a pedometer to track your steps and hit that “10K” steps goal every day. Develop this habit now so that your body will crave it. This is important to do on the days you will be consuming your robust holiday meal. Get that metabolism firing so that you will be burning those calories rather than storing
- Eat REAL Food: Remember this on the days when you are preparing for your holiday meals. Cooking with real ingredients will lessen the stress on the body and allow you to burn them more efficiently.
- Make sure to eat balanced meals (Protein, veggies/ carbohydrates, and good fats). Don’t “save your appetite” to binge out on and excessive dinner and treats. We all know that bad decisions are made when you are hungry. Eat clean balanced meals throughout the day to prevent overeating and cravings.
- Have vegetable dishes out for snacks. Having it there will make you think twice about other options.
- Eat slowly and engage in conversation during your meals with your family and friends
- If you choose to have some sweets, serve yourself small quantities. Try small golf ball sizes of a few of your favorite treats to curb my craving for them.
- Enjoy your family and decide to sit at a table if you already don’t. Make the food and time enjoyable; this will encourage others to have a better relationship with food.
- Lastly, have fun and relax. You deserve it
Start these practices in now so that come “Game Day” you aren’t passed out in the chair in a food coma regretting your decisions all way into the New Year. Enjoy your Holiday and Stay Healthy!
– Eric Burnett