The holiday is upon us! There are ways to enjoy the holiday meals without overindulging. Most of us have been there, we have overindulged: belly is too full, bloated, and just feel plain gross. Portion control is important year round but especially when holiday food is around. You’ve worked hard all year – don’t let yourself down around the holidays. Remember the feeling when you eat too much, now remember the feeling when you succeed in a challenging/tempting situation. You are in control of how you will feel after the meal. Here are some ideas and strategies to keep in mind:
- Eat normal, small meals and snacks leading up to the holiday meal.
- Drink water. This is especially important when drinking alcohol. Carry a water bottle with you all day.
- Choose a smaller plate. A full 12 inch plate has a lot more calories than a full eight or nine inch plate!
- Load up on veggie dish but watch out of creams and sauces.
- Share dessert and just have a bite or two rather than a whole sampler plate.
- Move your body! Even if it is short walks throughout the day – get moving!
- Most of all: be mindful. Mindful of what you are putting in your body, how much, and how it is making you feel.
The Bridge is an excellent Pilates exercise for torso stability. This exercise will strengthen the butt and the back of the legs and also teaches core stability. This is a safe exercise for a weak or injured back as well. If you experience regular back pain (especially from sitting at a desk all day), this exercise can really help!
The Body Bar helps to add resistance to this classic move and is a great alignment tool!
Lie down on the floor and bend your knees so both feet are on the floor. Place the bar across the hips. Push through the heels and lift the buttocks off the floor. Roll your spine back onto the floor, one vertebrae at a time. Make sure there is no gap between your lower back and the mat. For an added challenge, you can lift one leg off the floor. Your leg and back will be in the same alignment during the raising and lowering while keeping your foot flexed (toes to the sky).
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The holidays can be a challenging time for losing weight or maintaining body composition. It is important to acknowledge the challenges, have strategies for overcoming them, and enlist a support team for along the way!
This time of year means more parties, more social time, extra food around the home or office, less time to work out, and less sleep because of holiday obligations. Get prepared because they are here, ready or not!
Here are some strategies & tips to help along the way:
- After hosting a party, get rid of the leftovers right away. Give them away to party attendees, take them to work, or simply throw them out. High calorie, sugary foods do not need to be lying around for random snacking.
- More parties = more alcohol. With every adult beverage, accompany it with equal amounts of water. Have a goal when entering in the situation and be very mindful.
- Move away from the food table. Chat, mingle, dance or whatever it takes to get the snacks out of sight.
- Bring a healthy option to parties. This way there’s at least one healthy option to choose.
- Make a workout schedule at the beginning of the week and stick to it. Take this time to do something great for your body – every person deserves this time! Set alarms, calendar reminders, or schedule sessions; whatever it takes to get there and workout! Exercising will increase energy and help maintain or lose weight throughout this challenging time.
- Sleep! Back to the basics people – set a bedtime and stick to it! Days will ultimately be more productive and energized with a goods nights rest to fuel activities. Aim for seven to eight hours per night.
- Last but not least, enlist a support team. Tell friends, family, coaches or trainers, and workout partners about your goals, challenges, and schedules. There is more accountability when other people are involved. Offer other people the same support system – win, win!
Good luck this holiday season! Stay strong!