Getting through the Holiday Season can be a difficult time, especially this year. The Holiday Season brings lots of things; joy, food, family, tradition, reflection, and unfortunately depression for many!
It would be very easy to say 2020 sucked, so I might as well finish it with a bang and eat like there is no tomorrow. I hate to break the bad news to you, but there is a tomorrow and a new year upon us, so let’s tackle this Holiday Season with hope and joy and a plan to not gain a few extra pounds.
Let’s make a plan and dig a little deeper into nutrition, sleep, exercise and mindfulness.
Nutrition: This is one of my favorite subjects. I LOVE FOOD!! Are you frustrated that you’ve been working out and not seeing the results you expected? Guess what? It might not your amount of exercise, but maybe poor food choices. You’ve heard it before: You cannot out-exercise, out-train or out-run a bad diet. That’s just the simple truth. So let’s talk about food and nutrition. First of all, food does not have to be bland or boring to be good for you. Nutrition does not have to be complicated, but for so many people it is. So when you’re making your Holiday dinner or even going to celebrate at someone else’s home, try making and/or taking a healthier version of your favorites.
A few of my basic strategies for a party setting – if that’s even a thing this year: Do not stand around the appetizer table. Make a small plate and walk away and actually enjoy it. When making side dishes, make a healthier option. Skip the rolls and the urge to go back for seconds. When it comes to desserts, have a cookie, or two, instead of indulging in All the smattering of Christmas Cookies filled with sugar and flour. You may even try baking a paleo dessert made with almond flour and honey and I dare say you may find you actually like it. It’s also very possible you might say “It’s not the same.” My answer to you is, You are right!! I will also tell you that you will feel so much better afterwards, and even more importantly, the next day. Remember, strong starts in the mind.
Get Sufficient sleep: Do your very best to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. That might be difficult for some, but our bodies truly need that much sleep on a regular basis. I hate to be the one to tell you, but catching up with 12 hours sleep on the weekends doesn’t cut it. Thee are also studies that show insufficient sleep may lead to weight gain. Get to bed early, turn off your screens one hour beforehand and keep your room cool and dark. Over time, that will become your new routine.
Sleep scientist Matthew Walker, PhD says it like this. “The number of people who can survive on 6 hours of sleep or less, rounded to a whole number, and expressed as a percentage of the population is ZERO.” Read that again and let it sink in.
Exercise: The gyms are open and are a perfectly safe place to be. Most gyms are more sanitary now than ever before. If you’re not happy with the cleaning practices of your current gym, find one that suits your liking. Perhaps going to the gym is not your thing. There are many “at-home workouts” available online. Find a coach you can work with. If you don’t know one, look no further. We are happy to help! Get outside! I know it’s Cleveland, and the cold weather is upon us, but if you dress properly the Metroparks are a great place to go for a run, a walk, or my preferred outdoor exercise, Rucking.
A positive mindset: This one is hard. I challenge you to start and/or end your day with positive thoughts. Find and appreciate your bright spot(s) every day. There is so much goodness around, but it’s easier to see the negative. Dig deep, find what you’re grateful for, find a bright spot that happened in your day. Just one every day!
What I do to stay on track: Workouts are scheduled; if it’s on the calendar, it gets done. I drink 1/2 my bodyweight in ounces of water on a daily basis; this one can be a struggle, but my favorite water bottle helps. I eat non-processed foods, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Of course I’m human, and occasionally indulge, but in general, I keep true to my healthy foods. I meal prep my food weekly. I take Hemp/CBD Oil. Not only does CBD help with my sleep, it helps with my workouts and recovery. In addition, CBD helps me when I’m feeling sad and overwhelmed, and keeps me calm and focused during those stressful hours of my day.
I hope this was helpful! Have a safe and healthy holiday!