If you want to be healthier, you have to make some changes or continue the program taking you toward good health. Sticking with a healthy meal plan and regular exercise is a start. It may feel impossible over the holidays, but you can do it. It’s a matter of selecting healthy options instead of unhealthy ones. Planning can make all the difference and so can a good night’s rest. If you lack sleep, the body produces more ghrelin—the hunger hormone, and less leptin—the one that makes you feel full. That can cause you to overeat and destroy your weight loss program or feel miserable trying to stick with it.
Plan ahead and don’t skip meals.
Some people skip breakfast and lunch if they know they’re going to a family smorgasbord-style meal. That can work against you. You’ll probably fill your plate and eat it fast when you finally do eat. That doesn’t give your stomach time to tell your brain it’s full, so you consume far more calories than you would otherwise. Eat a breakfast and lunch, so you aren’t ravenous. Permit yourself to have that special treat you look forward to eating but keep portion size in mind. Fill your plate with a healthy salad, then go easy on the bread, pasta, or high-calorie food.
Get some exercise and chill out.
The holidays can be stressful and packed with activities but make time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve stress, so you’ll enjoy the holidays more if you do it daily. If there’s no time for the gym, try to combine family activities with physical exercise. Walk through the neighborhoods and downtown to see the decorations or spend an afternoon with the kids walking through Christmas at the zoo or the museum. Do several shorter exercise sessions throughout the day when you have ten or fifteen minutes.
Prioritize your tasks.
Taking care of yourself and your family should be first. That includes your job and paying your bills. After that, you can prioritize everything. Not every task is equally important. Only you can determine which should take the top priority. Check your list and see if you can delegate some of the responsibility. You might find that others love helping out. Get the whole family together to make baked goods instead of spending your time alone in the kitchen. Even grown children will love learning your recipes and working together. It may become a new holiday tradition.
- Plan on giving yourself some leeway at a holiday celebration that has delicious but often fattening food. Even if you do overeat, it’s not the end of everything, go back to a healthy diet the next day.
- Try meal planning and prep. Meal planning and preparation can cut the time spent in the kitchen during the week and make it easier to choose healthier options.
- Hydrate!!! It’s colder outside, so you’re not sweating, but that’s often when you forget to hydrate regularly. Carry water with you and sip on it throughout the day.
- Make your meals healthier by changing some recipes. You can use applesauce to replace some of the oil or the sugar in a recipe. Use zoodles instead of pasta or substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes.
For more information, contact us today at Iron Fit San Antonio