The smells of pumpkin pie and stuffing will soon be wafting through the rafters. You know what’s coming – a real feast, followed by a food coma. Last year, after loosening your belt buckle two notches, you commited that you were going to be proactive this year. You have googled “gyms near me,” and found one that will really help you keep that “Santa Belly” at bay. Great job! However, it isn’t just fitness – or working out – that is going to make a difference. Here are five nutritional tips that, if followed, will guarantee a healthy holiday season.
Don’t Eat Big Once – Eat Small Often
“Saving yourself” for that big holiday banquet or party by skipping meals seems like a good idea, right? Wrong. For one thing, this strategy usually results in overeating. Think binge. And while you may think you’re saving calories, your body has a different idea. It will begin to store your caloric intake as fat, believing that your lack of food consumption means it doesn’t know when your next meal is coming. So don’t confuse your body. Eat small meals every 2 -3 hours. This will teach your body to rely on food for its energy source, instead of storing fat. And take your mom’s advice – don’t skip breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day. And eat your veggies!
Don’t Fly Blind – Have a Plan to Combat Overeating
More often than not, holiday celebrations include sweet and savory delights – foods we usually only eat this time of year. It is easy to eat one too many sugar cookies, or an extra roll… or two. Why not give yourself the gift of strategy – having a plan in place to help you stay true to your health and fitness goals? Use a smaller plate than usual. Cast veggies as the star of your dinner plate stage. Choose real food – food crafted with quality, natural ingredients – instead of eating just to eat. Eat slowly and enjoy the experience – savor the textures, flavors and taste of everything you put in your mouth. This allows your brain and your stomach to connect, telling you that you are done eating BEFORE you feel like your shirt buttons will pop off.
Sometimes you make mistake thirst as hunger. Not only does water as a transportation vehicle for nutrients, but it also helps in energizing muscles; hydrating skin; and improving kidney function. And as an added bonus, drinking a glass of water before a meal – especially one you know will be rich in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates – can make you feel fuller, thus causing you to eat less.
Watch Your Late-Night Carb Intake
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for your body. However, your body can’t metabolize a large intake of carbs if the activity surrounding it is binge watching and sleep. It will, instead, store that energy as fat. So lay off the late night Carb Fest – even if it’s “healthy” – like oatmeal or brown rice (really?!).
Create a Partnership
It’s challenging enough to walk by the dessert bar without stopping, or to politely say, “No thank you” to the flaky warmth of another homemade roll. But being the only person in the room doing so? Much harder! Why not enlist family and friends in your quest to stay healthy during the holidays? Devise a plan together that is simple and sustainable. Ask the trainers at your local gym to help you. After all, the whole point of your plan is to form healthy habits that will carry you through this holiday season – and the rest of the year!
We are here to partner with you in achieving your health and fitness goals! At L.I.F.E. Health and Fitness Center, we have something for every body – our Quincy gym offers a multi-dimensional fitness experience, including personal training, group training, strength and fitness classes, weight loss guidance and so much more. Call or visit us to begin your journey to your best you!