It’s hard to believe that the holidays have arrived. Whether you’ve been partying hard or relaxing by the fireplace, chances are your holiday season has involved lots of food and lots of alcohol.
Many people ask for my help this time of year because they are feeling anxious about overeating and gaining weight.
Did you know that the average person packs on an extra 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas?
I understand how difficult it can be when you realize all those extra calories from holiday dinners went straight to your mid-section. Many people bust their butt all year trying to live a healthy lifestyle, then easily give in to temptations during the Christmas season.
As a result, most people are unhappy with their weight come January.
So, I’ve decided to offer some advice to those of you who can’t resist holiday temptations. I know it’s easy to feel bad about yourself after the holiday season is over as you start to add up all the glasses of wine, gingerbread cookies, and untold casseroles you’ve consumed.
But feeling bad is the last thing you want to be doing.
Here’s what I suggest:
1) Don’t get down on yourself.
So what if you ate or drank too much over the holidays? Most people do and food is actually a big part of enjoying the holidays. Today is another opportunity to start anew and get where you want to be.
Remember that stress will increase cortisol levels and this stress hormone is definitely not your friend if you’re trying to lose weight. It will only help add pounds. So work on de-stressing and take those baby steps to get back on track.
2) If you have a stash of holiday leftovers that aren’t the healthiest, just pass them on to others.
They’ll be grateful for the yummy food and you’ll be less tempted since additional treats are not calling your name from the fridge.
3) Modify your goals and ensure they are realistic.
If you feel that you’re very far away from your goals, change them. Set a smaller, more attainable goal. For instance, if your goal was to weigh 10 pounds less by New Year’s Day and that clearly isn’t going to happen, set a new goal that you feel good about.
4) Start introducing healthy whole foods back into your day, rather than focusing on foods to take away.
Introduce protein smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch, and steamed veggies with protein for dinner. You can also substitute fresh fruit and nut snacks in place of other treats. It’s a good idea to clear your cupboards and replace holiday goodies with natural whole foods.
5) You could start a fun, new exercise program like hip-hop dancing or get back into your regular workout routine.
Think of exercise as something you enjoy doing instead of punishing yourself for going overboard during the holidays. If you feel totally lost and aren’t sure where to begin, now may be a good time to invest in a personal trainer.
6) Another popular way to kickstart your goals in the New Year is a gentle cleanse program.
It can have you back in your pre-holiday clothes in no time.
I don’t recommend liquid detox programs that involve merely drinking lemon water with laxative teas.
It’s winter and your body needs nutrients from food to stay warm. Not to mention, your immune system will suffer if you aren’t receiving the right vitamins and nutrients through your diet. A good cleanse encourages eating a wide variety of healthy foods – remember to provide your body with adequate nutrients, superfoods, along with key immune boosting vitamins and minerals during your cleanse.
There are many healthy ways to take steps back toward your regular healthy routine.
Ditch the guilt. Stay positive. And embrace the enjoyable journey ahead of you!