Nutrition Certification Blog

DON’T LOOK LIKE SANTA WHEN THE HOLIDAYS ARE OVER!

“Albert Einstein, who discovered that a tiny amount of mass is equal to a huge amount of energy, which explains why, as Einstein himself so eloquently put it in a famous 1939 speech to the Physics Department at Princeton, “You have to exercise for a week to work off the thigh fat from a single Snickers.” ~ Dave Barry

santalosingweightYes, it is once again that time of year that many people lose their focus with regard to their nutrition and fitness programs, as the holiday food and parties begin to gear up. The National Institute of Health reports that eating over the holidays often results in a gain of a pound or two every year for many folks. Add this up over a lifetime, and that can be a substantial weight gain!

YOU CAN AVOID THIS TRAP!

1. No “free pass” for the holidays. You know that holiday mindset you grab onto…the one that says “Oh, well, I’ll just get back on track after the holidays…” Toss it out the window faster than Aunt Bernice’s fruitcake! Moderation during the holidays is a lot easier than all that hard work in the New Year.

2. Lighten up – literally. Don’t set yourself up for failure by resolving to LOSE weight during the holiday season. Be selective as to when to deviate from your healthy meal plan and get right back on track after you do over indulge. When you deviate from the plan, only allow ONE deviation per day, so you get to choose breakfast, lunch, or dinner but not the entire day.

3. Eat a little something BEFORE you go to a holiday party. This is a big one. A great tip is to eat a little protein before you go, or protein first when you arrive at a party. Protein has a higher “satiety value” meaning that it is protein that turns off the hunger button in your brain, so shrimp, smoked salmon, sliced meats… these are the things to enjoy first.

4. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water (preferably Kangen Water & eliminate any chance of a hangover). We forget sometimes how many calories are in each drink. And of course, a few drinks later we forget about calories all together and merrily pig out! Speaking of “calories,” keep this in mind: 1g of carbohydrates AND one gram of protein have only 4 calories each. A gram of fat has 9, and a gram of alcohol 7. To put this into perspective, here are some solid (or should I say fluid) numbers:

  • 5oz wine = 90-105 calories
  • 12 oz beer = 140 calories & “light” beer = 65-90;
  • 1 ½ oz of alcohol = 90 calories

…and if you mix it with sugary drinks, the calories can skyrocket as will your chances for a hangover. So be sure to drink LOTS of Kangen Water 9.5. An extra benefit of this amazing water is that it is a great hangover preventer!!

5. Really focus on the mouthfuls of great food you eat. How many times do we scarf something down without really tasting or enjoying it? Really savor those special treats, and you will eat less of them, as you are staying mindful of what you are ingesting. Consider yourself a food “connoisseur” and challenge yourself to really distinguish the different flavors, textures, mouth feel, and spices in each bite as this will help you slow down and enjoy each bite to its fullest.

6. Find alternatives you can really enjoy. For example, beware of creamy sauces and toppings. Use low-fat yogurt in recipes that call for cream, and try lighter alternatives to cream where ever you can. And try a pumpkin flan or custard instead of pumpkin pie.

7. Step Away from the Table! When enjoying a buffet style, take what you decide to take on your plate, then “step away from the table,” eat slowly, enjoy it, and don’t go back!

8. Find other forms of fun! So much of our focus is on food over the holidays. How about planning NON food events such as making decorations, or family outings such as playing games, or a walking tour of decorated homes in your area?

NOW is the time to REALLY focus on your goals and take the necessary steps to avoid backsliding too far. Continue to reach for YOUR highest level of excellence – especially during the coming months. Best of luck and ENJOY!

Happy Holidays everyone!

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