Fit Tip #17
Here we go again, heading into another holiday season. Clients and class participants often share with me how nervous they are about ‘falling off the wagon’ over the next few weeks, blowing all their hard work and falling back into bad habits. They want to avoid gaining the extra pounds, feeling like they are starting from square one again in the New Year. Here are some simple, successful strategies that some clients use which you may also find helpful over this challenging season of multiple parties and fesitivities. (Just a reminder that everyone is different which means that successful strategies for each individual will vary as well)
- Do not attend a cocktail party or dinner gathering without having a healthy snack beforehand. In other words, do not go hungry. (kind of like grocery shopping)
- If you do #1, it’s much easier to follow ‘try a “little” of this and a “little” of that rather than digging full throttle into the appetizers because you’re starving. Ie. Dip just the end of your veggie stick into the dip to get a taste rather than slathering a big blob onto each bite or in taking an hors d’oeuvre, instead of ‘popping’ it into your mouth, try to make it last for 2 or 3 bites as you chew. (you can actually taste it better using this technique too.
- Take your time at the dinner table. Slow down by spending a little extra time chewing your food. It takes a little time for your brain to receive the message that your stomach is filling so if you eat slowly, your brain has a better chance of keeping up with what’s happening in your stomach. The added advantage of chewing your food really well is that you are helping to break it down, allowing for better digestion and absorption.
- If you think you want second helpings, wait 10 minutes before you go for the seconds. Again, the fullness of your stomach will have had a chance to tell your brain that you are full and don’t really need the extra calories.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day and stay away from sugar sweetened drinks (includes sodas and fruit juices), as much as possible.
- Alternate between drinking your alcoholic beverage of choice and the equivalent amount of water. It cuts your alcohol intake in half and therefore the calories and keeps you nicely hydrated.
- Plan ahead by keeping some healthy snacks on hand. If they’re available, you’ll probably eat them and not just the high calorie, low nutrition ones that are everywhere especially this time of year. Ie. Wash some grapes and keep them in the fridge ready to serve, cut up some pineapple, papaya, watermelon into cubes or slice carrots, celery, cucumber and keep in the fridge also ready to serve. It really does not take long to do this and guaranteed you will be happy to have a healthy option handy.
- No matter how sluggish you feel from the partying, eating, visiting, try to get at least an hour of exercise in every day. It can be as simple as a walk, swim or bike ride. It will help burn off some of the calories as well as help to maintain your muscle tissue. The other advantage is that it is a great opportunity to clear your head if you’re feeling like you need a break from all the company.
These are just a few really simple strategies that have helped many in their pursuit of staying on track to avoid the dreaded back sliding that can make the new year look like one gigantic uphill battle. You can still enjoy all the festivities, in fact maybe even more because you feel great!!!
Try as many as you like. They’re all good habits to embrace at any time of year!
Good luck and here’s to a happy healthy 2013!