Navigating a Healthier Holiday Season
The holidays are a tough time for many to keep food and alcohol under control. In fact, according to a recent Weight Watchers report, the average American gains around 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day through over-eating and drinking. Moreover, much of this weight is maintained from thereon. It’s not hard to understand why people fall into bad habits with every where you turn somebody waiting to thrust a glass of wine or a piece of pie in front of you during dinners, parties and festivities!! So here are some tips that may help you navigate a healthier holiday season!
Tip 1 - Choose Wisely
Avoid the high-calorie items typically offered at holiday get-togethers, such as high-fat appetizers, processed meats (like cocktail sausages), fried foods, cream-based soups, heavy casseroles, and desserts. Plan to fill up on lighter fare, such as lean meat, grains, fruit, and veggies. Prepare and bring a healthy dish so you, and other weight-conscious guests, will have an alternative if the host's offerings aren't so diet-friendly. (At ELEVATE we always have 1/2 pound or pound containers of healthy dips ready to go with our Ezekeil made chips. So come on in and grab some to take with you!)
Tip #2 - Get Enough Sleep
“People who sleep less over time tend to be heavier,” says Lawrence Epstein, the chief medical officer of the Sleep Health Centers, in Brighton, Massachusetts. But it doesn’t take long for the cycle to start. “If you pull one all-nighter or miss a few hours each night over a week, your body releases hormones that prompt eating and weight gain,” says Epstein. Alcohol may help you to conk out quickly; the problem comes when it starts to wear off. The period in which your body is metabolizing the alcohol is when sleep is disrupted. You may wake up frequently in the middle of the night (even if you don’t remember doing so) and miss out on restorative rest. The best strategy is to allow time for the alcohol levels in your body to drop before going to sleep; at the very least, retire your flute several hours before bedtime.
Tip #3 - Drink Water and Limit Holiday Drinks!
As we have said,you should be drinking between 80-120 oz of water each day. This is something that everyone struggles with on a daily basis, but has to be done. Make it a little more interesting and add lemon or cucumber to a water bottle --- you can also add in seltzer water to the count as long as it has no sweetener in it. During the holidays it is easy to drink unhealthy beverages such as alcohol, egg nog, hot chocolate, and punch. These are packed with calories and fat -so tread lightly. Still enjoy a glass of wine at a party but drink it slowly and stop at one or two drinks. Be mindful that if you choose to drink your calories - you can’t eat them as well!! That’s when we really get in trouble.
Tip #4 - Portion control.
It’s ok to treat yourself during the holidays, but don’t go crazy. Moderation is the key! You can enjoy those sweet treats but just have 1 cookie not 4 , or take a few bites of your favorite dessert or share it with a friend/significant other instead of eating the entire thing. Another trick is to use a smaller plate and load it with healthy food first. Be sure to choose food items that contain protein, healthy fats, and and whole grains. Also…resist the temptation to go back for seconds!
Tip #5 - Make a Game Plan
At ELEVATE we feel strongly about sustainable living. Therefore knowing that it’s a holiday, understand and expect that you are going to treat yourself with some of your favorites - but if you have a plan before going, it will help you keep things in check and not throw the baby out with the bath water!! For example, we always head to my sister’s house and know the menu. Before I get there, in my head, I decide what I am going to allow myself for the appetizers, the entree and the desserts and to drink. I like hummus over cheesy artichoke dip, corn bread stuffing over mashed potato, one small piece of pecan pie over cookies and bars and will allow myself 2 glasses of wine. Being prepared with a plan and committing to it tightens controls and allows you to enjoy without complete excess. That is a successful holiday! So make your plan and have fun! You deserve it!!
And to get you right back on track we are cleansing straight through January starting with a 4 day cleanse beginning January 3rd and continuing January 9th, 16th and 23rd with normal 5 day cleanses. Visit the cleanse page on our website to register.