This is the hardest time of the year to stay focused to the commitments & goals you established Jan. 1. November 1st is usually when we start talking about the holiday feast. We begin envisioning the roasted turkey on the table with all those sides like baked macaroni, stuffed peppers, greens, cornbread, sweet potato pie, cakes, AND that huge pot of gumbo.
With that being said, approach this holiday season with a different mindset.
Before we changed our lifestyle, we would OVERINDULGE just because it was the holiday season. We gave ourselves permission to eat until we just couldn’t eat not another bite. By the end of the day, the only thing we could do was unbutton our pants, sit down somewhere, & fight to just BREATHE!
Don’t do that!!! There is no need to sabotage your diet and weight loss efforts just because it’s the holiday season. You don’t have to eat everything just because it’s available. Year after year, people consume well over 4500 calories on this one day! That’s just the calories. Can you imagine what the sugar, fat, & sodium consumption is for this day?
This year, keep your holiday healthy. You can still enjoy your Thanksgiving favorites without the guilt, weight, or misery from overeating. Remember, Thanksgiving is not about being stuffed. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and spending quality time with family & friends.
As the year comes to a close, don’t allow the holiday season to derail all the effort & progress you have made thus far.
Here are 8 Tips To Help Keep The Holidays Healthy:
1. Stay Active: This is not the time of the year to abandon your workout regimen. Make time to get it in! Try working out first thing in the morning or you can take a walk before & after dinner. It’s important for you to maintain your workout schedule. Trust us, your body will thank you.
2. Eat Breakfast: Do not skip breakfast Thanksgiving morning. We have definitely been guilty of this one. The thought process behind skipping breakfast is you are trying to “save room.” Don’t make this mistake! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Instead of skipping breakfast, eat a small, healthy breakfast to ensure your body is fueled properly. Try an egg sandwich on whole wheat toast, oatmeal, or protein shake.
3. Cook Healthier Versions: If you are cooking dinner or bringing a dish, make them healthier. Simple swaps using healthier ingredients can help you create delicious dishes without the additional calories, fat, and sugar.
4. Smaller Portions: It’s simple. You don’t have to eat everything! It may hurt to hear this but it is TRUE. Avoid the temptations of seeing the food and saying to yourself “YEP, I want ALL that!” Take inventory of what is available. Make a BetterChoice by filling your plate with small portions. Increase the veggies. Stick to one roll OR cornbread — not both. Choose between the baked macaroni OR mashed potatoes. Remember, left overs are even better. What you don’t eat on turkey day, you can try the next day.
5. Skip Seconds: Do we really need to explain this one? Control is a choice. Remember that.
6. Eat Slow: It’s not a race! Slow down. Taste your food. Chew your food. Take small bites. Enjoy the table conversation. Don’t be in such a hurry to finish your plate because you are planning for seconds. Remember tip #5.
7. Limit Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol contains empty calories meaning it offers your body no nutritional value. The sugar content is very high. We recommend bracketing water between your alcoholic beverages (8oz water / drink / 8oz water). It’s important to stay properly hydrated. Between the alcohol & sugary beverage consumption, the additional water will also help to flush your system.
8. Be Thankful: Enjoy the day. Enjoy your family & friends. Most importantly, be thankful.
As always, thank you for time, love & support. We hope what we have shared has helped you. Feel free to share your thoughts with us. Be sure to share this info with family & friends.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
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Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.