The Holiday Season may bring cooler temperatures, however, it does not lack in warmth. It is a season of warmth in our homes and even more warmth in our hearts. It is a time of giving, cheer, and joy. It is a time of indulgence, heavenly tasting hot chocolate and egg nog by the fireplace, fresh baked festive short bread cookies, lots of food, and longer nights. But what if there is a way of indulging in tasty, delicious food without the sugar rush, losing track of your health and wellness goals, or adding on extra pounds? Below are some tips to greet the New Year feeling confident and successful by implementing a few small strategies that I use myself and have shared with clients who have seen great results.
Plan and be Prepared
Make sure to plan and cook your meals. You will be less likely to buy take-out, which most of the time does not come in balanced macronutrient ratios and contains additives, sugars, and too many calories. Portion control is so important, but often overlooked as take-out restaurants often fill your plate with lots of overly processed grains, such as white rice, and not enough vegetables, not to mention poor quality fats used in excess. I would like to share a great new local food delivery service that Terry and I have found https://www.gourmethomefood.ca/ They are a great find for us as they deliver hearty, healthy, locally sourced and organic (where possible) homemade dishes that are extremely reasonable as well. They even offer FREE delivery for a minimum $29 order. In addition, NRG members be sure to show them your key tag for a free appy or dessert (again, with a minimum $29 order).
Focus on Your Goals
It is easy to become distracted when your focus is not on your health and wellness. Stay motivated throughout and make sure to exercise regularly, log your meals in a food journal or use a meal tracking app. Know at all times how much food you are consuming and the type of food you are eating. You would be surprised to learn how much some of us are actually eating. Whenever I notice the scale or waist band inching up, I suggest going back to using an app and a measure so we can see exactly what we’re eating. It’s easy to over estimate and become too relaxed with a handful of nuts or spreading the nut butter on a bit too thick!
Eat, don’t snack
Never show up to a party hungry. Eat throughout the day and don’t over do it in the evening. You can still enjoy your work holiday party without having to try.
Rewards Can be Activities, Adventures, and not necessarily Food Related
Only Eat What You Love and Enjoy
You don’t have to eat everything that is laid out at the buffet. Eat slowly, choose a few dishes that you want to try, and leave the rest for others to enjoy.
Keep Your Goals A Priority
So many fall off completely over the holidays and hear themselves say “I’ll just start back up with eating better and exercising on January 1st”. This can be very destructive mentally and physically. The 80/20% rule is very effective during special occasions. Make healthy eating choices 80% of the time and make treats you truly love make up the other 20%. When it comes to exercise, modifying your schedule to help keep the balance is key. Remember that 2 x 30 min workouts instead of 4 along with 1 yoga instead of maybe your usual 2 each week is very do-able and will keep you feeling strong, maintain the hard work and consistency done throughout the first part of year not to mention do wonders for your immune system. The last point is vital with the extra time spent indoors socializing coupled with later nights.
Be brutally honest with yourself. Write down your goals and provide a few reasons why reaching your goals is important to you. What would it mean to you if you don’t reach your goals and what would not reaching your goals look like? How would that make you feel? Maybe you want to be able to play more with your children because you realize they are growing up so fast. Maybe you want to have more energy, wake up in the morning with passion and enthusiasm, be in a better mood, or lose weight because you’re tired of hiding behind loose clothes all your life. These are powerful questions that lead to answers you may have been searching for your entire life and these answers can help you stay on track. The key is to be raw and honest.
Create Reminders That Inspire You to Continue on the Health and Wellness Path.
Journal every evening before you go to bed, track your progress and reward yourself when you meet your goals. Rewards can be activities, adventures, and not necessarily food related. But, if you want to treat yourself to a good quality nutritious snack, give yourself permission to do so.
Try smart recipes that mimic the flavour profile of a classic and less healthy option, like the NO-Eggnog recipe that follows.
Hydrate With H2O
Hydration is life and it is accomplished by eating high water content fruits and vegetables, and drinking plenty of water. Water helps relieve hunger, helps improve circulation, aids in detoxification and makes your skin look and feel better.
If you overindulge at a holiday get- together, skip breakfast the next morning. A little bit of fasting won’t hurt, and it will help your body detoxify and give your digestive tract a break. With so much research in the area of intermittent fasting, we are starting to understand that fasting is in fact not just good for you, it is necessary for a healthy body and mind. It’s fantastic for digestion. Animals do this instinctively, yet many of us eat breakfast, as an example, not because we are hungry, but because we are told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unless your last meal is at 5pm or 6pm, you don’t really need to eat breakfast until 9am or 10am. Ideally, you want to decrease night time eating and eat during the day. If you have a health condition or are pregnant, fasting may not be a good option, always check with your health care practitioner prior to starting a fasting regimen.