The holidays are over and you’ve indulged in more foods, drinks and desserts than you normally do. It’s OK. I did too. We’re human and not robots. You can’t go to a Christmas party and not enjoy all the delicious foods and desserts that have been prepared.
If you simply could not control yourself over the holidays and you’re ready to make this a healthier year………..here are 7 simple techniques you can do to get yourself back on track. I like to call them the 7 Baby Steps to Health.
One of the keys to not gaining a ton of weight over the holidays or anytime is by being moderate. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Moderate? Are you crazy? I love to eat especially during the holidays!!! Well, I do too, but let me share one technique that works for me. How? By using the taste technique. Notice I said taste….not pig out. I like using this technique much better than counting calories. Who knows how many calories are in all these foods? When it comes to weight loss, counting calories sounds good on paper but in reality it doesn’t work for me.
Another technique I find useful and works is what I call the baby plate technique. This is where you serve yourself on small plates. This way you can go back for seconds and you have not consumed a ton of food!
Remember we don’t need to eat such large quantities of food to nourish our bodies. Quite the contrary, eating large amounts of food is detrimental to your digestive organs. The pancreas, liver and gallbladder have to work overtime and that’s not good.
I know it can be difficult to only get a smaller than normal serving. But getting smaller servings by using small plates allows you to taste everything and not feel like you’re deprived without adding excessive calories to your plate.
Another step to better health is to start a walking routine. If you’re not that disciplined and won’t go walking by yourself get a walking partner. There are other people like you that are hoping to find someone to walk with.
Maybe you’re ready to make the commitment to improve your diet. You can start by eliminating sodas from your diet. (By the way, switching to diet sodas is not a healthy option. Those artificial sweeteners can cause anxiety, memory loss, not to mention many other side effects like cancer). Try replacing sodas with vegetable juice. I recycle the small plastic bottles of Propel and fill them 3/4 of the way with V8 add lemon juice and a dash of my spicy seasoning! It’s a tasty and nutritious breakfast drink on the drive to work or for lunch with a small salad or salmon burger! The added bonus is you are consuming more of the daily recommended servings of vegetables.
Another technique is to not eat out everyday for lunch. You could limit eating out to 2 or 3 times per week. Just think of the money you’ll save as well. Just prepare a simple lunch the night before and brown bag it. Your lunch could even be an apple with some peanut butter. That takes very little preparation.
The important thing is……. get started. Write out your plan(s) on 3×5 index cards. You may want to start with one thing. It could be as simple as writing something like this: 1. I will go walking everyday for 30 minutes. 15 minutes one way and 15 minutes back. Some people use the “I don’t have time. Most people get one hour for lunch. Use half the time to go for a short walk. No excuses!
Carry one of your index cards in you vehicle’s visor or somewhere where you will see it and read it everyday. Use a magnet to stick one on your refrigerator. Put one next to your bed on your nightstand.
Read your goals several times a day. One of the best ways to form a new habit is by repetition. I’ve been using this technique successfully for several years now.
Write a new index card every month. By the end of the first month, your initial baby step should be a new healthy habit! Every month add a new goal and within six months……. can you imagine the progress!!!
Let’s summarize: 1. Taste technique 2. Use smaller plates 3. Start walking 4. Improve your diet 5. Brown bag it 6. Write your goal(s) 7. Read your 3×5 card daily
Remember, the key is small changes over time….baby steps….which will increase your chances of accomplishing and maintaining your goals for a lifetime. If you have any of your own ideas that are working for you on ways to ease into healthy habits, I would love to hear from you.
It’s a new year and you want to get fit. You’re sick and tired of always being sick and tired. Or maybe you’re an ex-athlete who let work, kids and family obligations get in the way of your health and fitness. You’re health is now suffering and you’re carrying some extra baggage (holidays weight gain!). Whatever the case may be you’re ready to make some changes and reap the benefits of being more fit than you presently are.
I’ve got great news for you. Improving your fitness level is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind and spirit. Research has proven time and time again the many benefits of how improved fitness levels improve your health. You will sleep better. You will have more energy. You will have less aches and pains (maybe not at first). Your digestion will also improve and will improve dramatically if you make a few changes to your diet as well. This is stuff you already know so let it serve as a reminder and motivator to get off the sofa and get moving.
Let’s get started. The first thing you can do is to realistically set some goals. How fit do you really want to be? How much fat do you honestly want to get rid of? Do you need/want to build some lean muscle mass? What does getting fit mean for you?
Everyone has different needs and goals. I’ve never been one for a one size fits all approach. But you gotta have a plan…. write it down.
For some people it might mean going for an hour walk three times a week. For others, it may need to be much more intense and involve running, bicycling, weigh lifting etc. There are some good videos/DVD’s on the market (I personally started using the P90X).
I personally believe most people would do well to get rid of some fat pounds and replace them with some good lean muscle. Muscle helps you burn calories while at rest. Yes you read that correctly.
Don’t get caught up in the trap of only weighing yourself because you can get rid of fat and replace it with muscle and the scale barely changes. The easiest indicators to know if your workouts and new healthy diet are working are to take measurements around your waist and by the way your clothes fit.
A light workout with weights can be beneficial for both men and women. Some women have the fear of building too much muscle and looking manly. Women can avoid that by using light weights and increase the number of repetitions. There are some good sites on the web to help you learn about exercising and weightlifting. Dr. Joseph Mercola has an extensive (over 50,000 pages) archive of articles. One of the best content rich websites I know of. I used the search capability to find this one: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/02/27/shorter-weight-training-very-effective.aspx.
It would be impossible for me to teach you what can take weeks to learn with this one article. For some other good information on workouts check out: http://www.weight-lifting-workout-routines.com/weight-lifting-tips.html.
“Most people do realize that without good health, nothing else matters. Unfortunately, they often don’t make that realization until it is too late.” ~Bill Phillips
“He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.” ~ Arabian Proverb
The Christmas Holidays are right around the corner! Lots of parties, festive foods and family get togethers. This is the time of year when many people will put on unwanted pounds. But it doesn’t have to be that way. What can you do with all the tempting foods that will be around? First, decide that you will enjoy all your holiday favorites. This gives you a feeling of not restricting yourself from all your favorite holiday foods and treats you like. The second thing you need to do is decide that even though you will allow yourself to eat everything that doesn’t mean you have to have overindulge.
When I go to a party and see many of the foods I like I serve myself smaller servings than usual. Then if I want to I can go back and get another smaller than usual serving. This tricks me into thinking I had two servings but since they were small I actually had the equivalent of one usual serving. This works for me and may work for you as well.
I also think about how uncomfortable I will feel if I overeat and then I will suffer with possibly heartburn, gas, bloating. If it’s in the evening it will interfere with my sleep and I might wake up in the middle of the night with acid reflux and gag and possiblly vomit. That’s not a good feeling and if I think about that it’s usually enough to stop me from overeating and overdrinking.
Set a time limit for how late you will eat. If I’m going to an evening party, I want to eat soon and not wait until it gets late. It can get tricky because maybe the food is not ready or no one is eating yet. I might be the one who says something like ” I’m starving. I haven’t eaten all day. Do you mind if I get a little something to eat?” Most hosts will be gracious and say “of course” and what happens next is other people will follow. They were just too embarrased to be the first ones to start eating.
You may have some other “trick” that works for you and the important thing is to stick with it.
Wanting to make a positive change is always a challenge. Following through is even a bigger one.
If you have not made the progress you are looking for, take a serious look at the following reasons:
1) You are not making the right food choices. It’s difficult and I make exceptions to taste many foods I don’t usually eat during the holidays. Who can resist tamales, eggnog, pecan or pumpkin pies? Again the key for me is small portions and taste the many foods I love but don’t eat often. By the way there is a Bakery on Piedras that sells “cocktail” tamales which are excellent and are mini versions of the regular tamales. I love to eat these because they don’t have all the masa that the regular tamales have.
For more information about making good food choices check out the article Everyone Wants You To Be Fat www.smallstepstohealth.com/2008/08/everyone-wants-you-to-be-fat/
2) You are not incorporating exercise or you may need to increase the intensity of your exercise. Maybe you need to walk for 40 minutes instead of only 20. There ia an enormous amount of information on the web on how to incorporate exercise into your life. No matter your age, health or how busy you are and think you don’t have the time to exercise there is always a way.
3) You have not identified the core reasons for self sabotaging your efforts. There may be something you are not consciously aware of that is keeping you a “victim”. This is an area that could be further explored. Emotions such as anger, depression, happiness, celebrating, getting together with family and friends are reasons why many people overeat. Also there may be other reasons like past failures to lose weight that may make you think “why even try if I always fail”. Do you look in the mirror and see only your faults, flabby arms, “love handle”, double chin etc? Focus on the positive assets you have. Your beautiful eyes, hair, smile, personality or other assets you DO have.
4.) You may have a medical condition such as a slow functioning thyroid gland. Please check out the free online thyroid test at www.1-thyroid.com . Don’t let the name of the website fool you. Both men and women have a thyroid gland that can malfunction. If you do have a slow thyroid, Standard Process (www.StandardProcess.com) has excellent whole food nutritional supplements to get the thyroid gland back to normal. It is a much safer approach than the traditional prescription drugs of synthroid or some other synthetic hormone. Your Chiropractor can order these natural products for you.
Remember it’s about Healthy Living for LIFE- Emotionally, Mentally, Spiritually, Physically and Nutritionally for life. It’s about how to enjoy the holidays guilt free and NOT gain weight. Happy Holidays, Feliz Navidad, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
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