How was your Christmas?
I hope you were able to enjoy friends, family & great food! I know I sure did.
I must have been a pretty good girl this year, or else I have Santa really fooled! 🙂
The day after Christmas is a bit of a reality check for me. I always allow myself to enjoy the great food and “goodies” that come my way over Christmas. I don’t believe in deprivation at all. The holidays come but once a year and I believe we should enjoy them. I try to practice moderation…although I am not always perfect (no such thing as perfection anyway), I pretty much have a handle on it.
Having said that, I also know that I have to set a cut-off day where all the extra goodies and rich foods need to be dealt with…and I don’t mean over indulging until they are gone. The day after Christmas happens to be the day when I start to take note of what is still in the house and make an action plan to get my nutrition and fitness back on track.
Here are the steps I take to get the proverbial ball rolling:
1) If you have any leftover trigger foods in the house, and by trigger foods, I mean those that you absolutely obsess about or just have no self control over once you start eating it (can’t eat just one type of thing), YOU GOTTA GET RID OF IT.
There’s no other way around this one if you really serious about getting back on track. Give it to friends, family, co-workers, neighbors- anyone that doesn’t live in your house and where you won’t have access to it. Throw it in the garbage if needed….. It’s just not worth the “binge- guilt-stuffing yourself til your sick swearing to never eat it again” cycle and feelings that come with trigger foods. For some that means getting rid of the sweets, for me that would be salty crunchy items. Out of sight out of mind which means not “wearing” it around and trying to “work it off” later- and we all know it’s much harder to get rid of then to accumulate it.
2) Freeze any extra portions of “Aunt Lilies rich and fattening macaroni and cheese” into smaller side portions that you can eat throughout the year. I mentioned that I don’t have too much of a sweet tooth. But there are some particularly amazing cookies that one of my clients makes every year and they are such a treat. I actually freeze 3-5 cookies in separate baggies and take them out once a month or so I can savor them throughout the year. You can do this with just about any type of food and it allows you to enjoy it in the months to come. Don’t try this with trigger foods….even those taste good frozen. Get rid of those completely.
3) Start meal planning. Even if it’s only for one meal a day right now. Start with fresh or frozen vegetables (not the ones that come with a sauce), protein such as chicken, fish, or lean cuts of red meat or veggie protein, and design mini meals using these items. You’ll save yourself from consuming extra calories, fat, sodium, and chemicals that prepackaged and fast food contains. Even adding a healthy smoothie in the morning is a great way to take in nutrition and regulate blood sugar levels so you won’t be tempted to reach for those not so healthy foods.
I recently wrote a Holiday Survival Guide with even more tips and tricks along with a workout, calming meditations, recipes & food prep ideas to get you started. If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, here’s the link:
4) Schedule in at least 10 minutes of activity everyday from before the New Year. Walk, Climb stairs, dance, take a group fitness class….something. Even standing up from your work chair every 30 minutes and walking from the front to the back of the office gets you up and moving throughout the day.
Don’t wait until January 1st to commit to start an exercise routine. Trust me: the magic ” I am going to love exercise and commit to doing it everyday after January 1st” fairy isn’t going to come and motivate you when you wake up on January 1…so why wait? Do something small to get started today.
5) Get more sleep! Yes, I said sleep! It’s easy to stay up late with friends and family this time of year…but sleep deprivation has a price. Not only does it cause decrease in mental function and higher risk of cardiac disease, it also is a factor in appetite control & weight gain.
Sleep deprivation effects the hormone ghrelin which is key in controlling appetite. When we’re tired, our ghrelin levels skyrocket and send out false hunger and fullness signals that causes us to overeat. And we typically aren’t reaching for the grilled salmon salad when we are tired and hungry. It’s the unhealthy processed foods & carbs that we tend to crave and over consume.
(Here’s a great link to many studies done on this if you’re interested http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062).
Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Naps count too! Get your ZZZ’s!
You can see how these 5 steps are something we all can begin doing today. No need to wait for January 1st. You’ll feel better the sooner you get started.
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Wishing all of you a Healthy, Happy New Year!
Coach Rhonda T