Healthy nutrition is a significant player in one’s life. An average life would be one of average nutrition. But you are not so average. You are phenomenal and know the part nutrition plays in your above average life! Right?! At least I think you do? Yeah, you do, I mean we all do, it’s like common sense, everyone eats to live another day. Well, for those who do, you get me, for those who don’t, try to get me and you might make it through the holidays feeling as good as you did before the stores started decorating. Yes, like in August.
The most focus “side effect” of nutrition is weight gain/loss. This is easily understood as excess weight has been shown to impact a person’s health in more than one way. And, excessive weight loss can have just as detrimental effects. The holiday season brings with it average weight gain for most of the population. According to the LA Times (September 21, 2016) this gain was seen to be a 0.2%-0.4% weight increase during the holiday season. For a 200lb person that can be a 4-8lb weight gain. This would be very discouraging for someone who is maintaining a healthy weight and not actively working on losing weight. It might be a happy time for those with excessive weight loss, and it would be very devastating for those who were actively trying to lose weight. For the respect of the reader’s time, this article will focus solely on maintaining weight throughout the Holiday Season, as a way of showing how to use nutrition so life a not so average.
Have a plan. Being that you’re actively aware of your nutrition, you should already have a plan. Such as, no sweets, or stay hydrated. This is excellent! Just add to it. Make it geared exactly to the Holiday Season. Plan what you will eat and what you won’t, how much you will, and won’t. Don’t forget about beverages. Are you going to have the Hot Toddy or are you going to opt for the water with a squeeze of lemon? With a plan, you will not have to debate in the moment. You will already know that you are going to allow yourself a beverage, but no desserts. Whatever your plan is, stick to it and you should easily continue to walk the road to success to reach your wellness goals, and stay at your current weight.
Another suggestion is to eat before you go. Sometimes the card say dinner party at 8pm, but dinner isn’t served until 9pm. If you hadn’t had anything to eat you would be hungry and eat everything you can get your little grubs on. But if you’re prepared, by having had something to eat before you left, you will not be frustrated with the delay.
If you are going to attend a potluck, bring your favorite healthy dish. This solves the issue that you might not have a healthy option that you like at the pot luck. Or, it might increase the many healthy options that are there. Whichever is the case, it’s a positive win to your maintaining a healthy weight.
When you are at a buffet, and its not a potluck, choose items high in protein and eat them first. Protein will fill you up and maintain that sense of fullness. If you insist on having a side dish, make sure that it is comprised of complex carbs and proteins, not simple carbs. Protein, mixed with complex carbs, will maintain sugar levels at an adequate level for a longer period of time. Blood sugar levels that have peaks and troughs, will cause cravings and lead to potential binges. Protein is the natural combatant to this condition.
These are 4 easy ways to get through a long and cold Holiday Season. Don’t starve yourself. You’ll be crabby and no one will want you at the party. Starving is not a solution, when you do return to eating you could go on a binge and make poor choices. Just avoid this scenario from that start and make an effort to change your practices. Give it 6 months and you should have a new habit and know you can be successful!