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Staying Healthy this Holiday Season

The fall season is here and that means the holidays are right around the corner. Now is the time to make those commitments and goals to yourself about your health, nutrition, and fitness. Many begin their nutrition down fall from Oct (Halloween) into Nov (Thanksgiving) December (Christmas and Hanukkah) and Jan (New Years). By then your energy has fallen, the scale has peaked, and you’re ready for another year of new health, fitness and diet goals that don’t really become a reality. Year after year many start January with a New Years resolution to eat better, loose some weight, and create a new and healthier lifestyle.
Why wait until Jan? Why fall off the wagon at all? With a healthy body, mind and attitude you can stay strong this fall season and sail smoothly into the New Year.

As a Holistic health practitioner and a competitive Triathlete, my life is surrounded by health, nutrition and fitness year round. At this time of year many triathletes are in their “off season”. This doesn’t mean completely off, but our workouts have changed, we are on a structured maintence program of sorts. As a health coach I tell my clients now is the time to make those short term goals and have your maintenance program in check. These goals will get you through the holidays without totally going off the rails. Here are some tips to remember this holiday season so you can start the New Year healthy, happy, and ready for a new challenge in the coming year.

Setting achievable goals.
It is easy to get discouraged, feel defeated, and throw in the towel when the goals you set for yourself are not practical during the holidays.
Instead of trying to loose those extra pounds now, try to maintain your current weight.

Don’t skip meals.
Eating healthy foods through out the day will keep your energy up, blood sugar stable, and make you less tempted to grab the foods that you really don’t want to eat.
Before a party it is always a good idea to have some raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite so you don’t arrive starving. Also keeping fueled through out the day will help keep your energy ( and workouts) up to speed.

Eat until you are satisfied not completely stuffed.
It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to signal to your stomach that it is full.
So eat slowly and you will be surprised how satisfied you will feel without overeating.
If you happen to splurge on that one meal, don’t give up and eat through January!, just scale back on the next meal. It takes 3500 calories to add a pound. That’s 500 extra cals/ day. So even though that may sound like a lot, it’s that extra dessert, or a few beers each day that can start the scales climbing.

Drinking alcohol and sweetened beverages are always a sure way to add on extra calories.
Alcohol also makes people want to eat more than they usually would. On average, people eat 20% more when alcohol is being consumed.  Also non alcoholic beverages may be loaded with preservatives and sugar. So choose wisely your beverage of choice.

Get some daily exercise.
By doing this you relieve that holiday stress and prevent weight gain. It will also help you reinforce your goals and keep you motivated. A little bit each day adds up.

Get some support.
Keeping healthy this holiday is always easier when you have friends to do it with.
Cook together, train together, go for a hike, exchange some healthy recipes, keep each other accountable, and have fun.

Enjoy your food.
Chew and savor your food. By chewing your food properly you will allow those precious nutrients to become absorbed in your intestines. Your salvia has enzymes that help the digestion process to break down and also liquefy your food so your stomach and digestion don’t have to work as hard. So keep on chewing!

Holidays are a challenge for many. Don’t make it your “off season” but maintain your health, fitness, and lifestyle with achievable goals, support, and healthy options. The New Year will look and feel a whole lot brighter AND healthier.

By Lisa Fallon Mindel CHHP,AADP

Posted in: Newsletters
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"If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.”
― Deepak Chopra

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"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather cure and prevent disease with nutrition"
Thomas Edison