The holidays are here, and now is the time to put your newly formed healthy eating habits to the test. Are you prepared for the endless carbs filling the table on Thanksgiving day, or the never-ending sweets and treats being enjoyed from now until the New Year? The most important thing you can do this holiday season is have a strategy to find the balance between your goals and the holidays and then stick to it. As always, whether you are approaching a vacation, a social event, or a holiday, you have to ask yourself one question, what do I want to accomplish?
What do I want to accomplish?
You will always have three answers:
1. I want to continue to make progress.
How to do this: Continue living the principles you have been taught. Follow the 4-4-12, Nutrition Guide, and use your Unicity products. Practice one reset meal per week. You will enter the New Year feeling fitter, healthier, and amazing knowing you made it through the hardest time of the year! How often has that happened?
2. I want to maintain my current progress.
How to do this: Continue living the principles you have been taught but with a little more flexibility. What does this mean? It means to be in control of most of your meals. Still, follow the 4-4-12, use your Unicity products, and follow the nutrition guide most the time. If you choose to have a few indulgences enjoy them in proper quantities. Portion control is the key! To be honest, unless you really go to town you’re simply not going to have to worry about doing much if any, damage to your progress. Remember, we want to adopt a lifestyle approach and that means learning ways to enjoy the fun holiday eating without going off the deep end.
3. I am okay if I potentially gain weight.
How to do this: There is a difference between gaining 2 and 3 pounds opposed to the average Holiday 10lb! That’s right folks! The average weight gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is 10lb. Gaining a couple pounds is not so bad compared to gaining a whole 10. Only gaining a few pounds might be a considered success for some of you out there. To only gain a few, you will have more indulgences in a day and over the course of many days. If you do choose to not stick to the 4-4-12 and snack here and there, be aware there will be negative impacts on blood sugar, insulin and your ability to burn body fat. Continue to use your Unicity products, especially Balance. That is the number one rule that will be beneficial in helping you control your blood sugar levels etc. If you end up gaining a few more pounds than you planned (say 5-10)… well, you probably had the attitude of “A little bit here and there won’t hurt.” Or even worse, “It’s the Holidays! I will get back on the wagon in the new year.” Sound familiar? Don’t get to that point! Everyone needs boundaries.
So what is your strategy for finding the balance between your health and fitness goals and the holidays?
Key tips to keep in mind:
- The key to long-term success is adopting a lifestyle mindset. Eating for a way of life and doing so means being able to incorporate holiday eating into YOUR plan. Yes, the holidays present a unique set of challenges because there are a lot of treats, presents, and festivities that involve food. Food is tradition and that isn’t going to change. The key to your success is all in your mindset. Unless you really go to town and are not mindful all, progress won’t be lost.
- Stick to your nutrition guide and eat a meal that is dense in Protein, vegetables, healthy carbs and fats. Every meal does not have to be washed down with toffee and pie. If you know you have a big dinner party coming up don’t get stuck thinking that just because you will have an off plan meal later that it doesn’t matter what you do for your first two meals. In fact, that could be all the difference in your success!
- Be mindful of your portion sizes. Along those same lines, remember that skipping meals altogether is a bad idea! People restrict all day and don’t eat thinking they are “saving their appetite” or “if I eat less now I will make less damage.” Well, this mindset will surely set you up to overeat later. Eat all your normal meals at the right meal times. A good tip is to have an extra Complete shake or some source of protein right before the meal in order to make you less hungry and to ensure you’re getting enough protein. At the end of the day how much of the food you ate will be the biggest determinant of the progress you do or do not make.
- You need to be realistic with yourself and your choices. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. If you go into the holidays without a plan and don’t exercise some degree of self-control and don’t control your meals, then subsequently you will put on more holiday pounds and you will have no one to blame but yourself.
- EXERCISE. Number one rule: Stay active! There are a million ways to exercise without equipment. We all have all the at home HIIT routines that can be done with absolutely no equipment. If you don’t want to only do HIIT, check out Pinterest or the internet for full body circuits. This will get your blood pumping and heart working. Other options will be to challenge yourself to get outdoors. Shovel snow, rake leaves, go for a walk/ jog. Get outside with family members! There is never an excuse to do nothing. Being active and overall movement will lead you towards greater success. Just Do It.
That being said, you can still continue on the course and continue to see some nice results over the holidays. It all comes back to going in with a plan and making a commitment to yourself. Go in prepared! Be responsible for yourself and your actions! Give yourself permission to enjoy yourself when you have made a plan. Enjoy the things you choose to indulge in and then move on. When things don’t go as planned (and they won’t) keep moving on! Don’t throw in the towel and say “well I already messed up so I won’t keep going.” Pull yourself back up on the wagon! Learn to be flexible. You will come out of each situation so much more successful when you don’t let that negative mindset creep in.
Don’t wait till the New Year to get back on plan. Don’t wait till Monday. Don’t even wait until tomorrow. Just get back to it and you will start the New Year stronger and healthier!