Sunday, November 17, 2013

Holiday Survival Tips

The holidays are upon us!! Are you ready? Don't forsake your health and fitness for a couple months of indulgence!! Lets roll into 2014 on a positive note!! Lets get ahead start on our health and fitness. 2014 will be a life changing year!!!! Lets do this!!

Don’t go hungry!
It’s important to eat at regular times throughout the day before attending your special event so you don’t go hungry. Eating small frequent meals helps keep your energy levels even, and your hunger at bay, and makes you less likely to give in to temptations. Enjoying a nutritious meal before attending a holiday party will help keep you satisfied. While there, remember these special events should be treated like a small frequent meal and not an eating frenzy.

Avoid portion distortion
Use the smallest plate available for built-in portion control. Fill your plate with healthy choices
first, like fresh vegetables and salad, and lean proteins. Limit or skip foods that are high in calories
and low in nutritional value.

Get Creative
You don’t necessarily have to give up traditional favorites...just modify them. Stay on track!
Meal recommendations: Roasted chicken, turkey, lamb, or lean beef paired with spinach salad and
steamed green beans makes for a great holiday meal and a healthy waistline without leaving you
feeling deprived. Sauté with broth rather than butter, use sugar-free gelatin rather than regular in Jell-O® molds, and use low- or fat-free choices rather than higher fat versions, e.g., substitute low-fat sour cream for regular.

Ask for help
Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself! Get your family and friends into the holiday spirit by assigning tasks for everyone. Send your spouse to the store (with a very specific list!) while the kids clean assigned areas of the house. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to bring a dish for all to enjoy.

Leftover food often finds its way into our mouths rather than the storage containers we intended.
Help yourself by choosing a clean-up job away from food (such as washing the dishes) while someone else clears plates and puts away leftovers.

Here are a few suggestions for using up your leftovers:
  Offer some to neighbors, coworkers, and friends—
     especially cakes and pies.
  Divide leftovers and freeze for a quick lunch or dinner
     when you’re in a rush or don’t have time to prepare a
     meal for the family.

 Be creative and invent new recipes!

Planning Ahead
Develop a plan of action and you’ll be much more likely to enjoy the holiday season, confident in your abilities to navigate those sometimes tricky scenarios. A plan of action is a written strategy detailing the steps you’ll take to keep yourself on track with your weight- and health-management goals. Take time to create several plans of action, individualizing them for the various situations you’ll be faced with this season—from family events to office parties to dining with friends. Learning to manage your caloric intake is no different than managing your checkbook, car maintenance, or kid’s schedules. It takes commitment to focus on your health goals.

Choose (non) tempting treats 
Choose to make or buy holiday treats that are easy for you to resist. If you’re a chocolate lover, offer licorice or hard candy, or make fruit-flavored baked goods. Love all things sweet? Give out miniature packets of pretzels, peanuts, or sugar-free gum, or make personalized gifts that don’t involve food (such as candles or place settings).

Chew, chew, chew!
It typically takes the stomach 15 to 20 minutes to signal the brain that you’ve had enough food.
Savor each bite by eating slowly and allow yourself to hear when you are full. This is an
important skill to learn. Skip second helpings (which could double your caloric intake) by standing away from the food, keeping yourself occupied, and enjoying the company of those around you.

Hectic schedules
There never seems to be enough time to plan, clean, shop, and cook. Manage your time by writing out your daily schedule before your events. Determine what you can do in specific time frames and only commit to what you know you can accomplish.

Make time for your body
Exercise can help you burn and/or bank calories, which helps you to balance your calories consumed with your calories expended. Get your friends and family involved by suggesting group activities (such as walks or sports challenges) that focus on physical health and take the emphasis
off food!

F o c u s on friends
Holidays are intended to be social gatherings with friends and family, not eating frenzies. Emphasize the social interaction. Plan activities to make the day special: Visit a local holiday gift shop, volunteer at a food bank, or attend local parades or other celebratory events. If possible, include group walks or sports activities so that you can burn calories while having fun. By focusing on the company of those around you, you can celebrate the true spirit of the holidays and make lasting memories with your family and loved ones.

p r o c r a s t i n a t e
If you plan on serving candy or sweets, purchase or make these items at the last possible moment. Early purchases or baking can increase the risk of being caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

Think your drink
Beverages, especially alcoholic choices, can be packed with calories. Opt for zero-calorie beverages such as unsweetened iced tea, coffee, seltzer water, diet soda, and water. If others are indulging in alcoholic drinks, volunteer to be the designated driver—it’s the perfect excuse to graciously decline any alcoholic beverage! For those in
Maintenance who choose to indulge, avoid extra calories by limiting your drink selection to one or two light beers, glasses of wine or cocktails made with spirits and zero-calorie mixers (such as rum and diet soda) and of course, please drink responsibly.

Strut your stuff
Use the holidays as an opportunity to be a role model for healthier living to those around you. Demonstrate the secrets of successful life-long maintainers by balancing moderate holiday indulgences with wise nutrition/food choices and increased physical activity!!

Bring your own
If your event is a potluck, bring a healthy dish that you can enjoy. A taco salad made with greens, tomatoes, scallions, green peppers, and taco-seasoned ground turkey is sure to be a hit, and makes a great meal. If your event is not a potluck, bring a hostess gift of fresh vegetables and low-fat dip.

Food gifts
Well before the holidays, ask your friends and family to forego food gifts. If you still get them, thank the person and either serve the food to others or give it away to someone else. This way, you won’t hurt the giver’s feelings, you’ll eliminate your own temptation, and you’ll save yourself the time and energy of preparing holiday treats for others.

Travel with your inspiration
If you’re traveling this holiday season, take along something that inspires you to stay on track with your health goals. Maybe your inspiration is a picture of you at your goal weight, a special poem, music that enlightens you, or an inspirational saying.

Keep your hands and mouth busy
Put a stick of sugar-free gum or a sugar-free mint in your mouth to stop the nibbling. Keep your hands busy and away from tempting foods by holding a calorie-free beverage in your dominant hand at all times.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint!!!!!
One slip-up or occasional indulgence will not ruin your chances of long-term weight-management success. If you find yourself doing some unintended overeating, the best thing to do is get back on track immediately rather than waiting to restart or allowing this one lapse to become a relapse into old habits.

Don’t forget, we don’t have to wait for a holiday or a special event to take the time to be thankful for the good things we have in our lives. By being thankful every day, you can learn to focus on the positive, and this positive thinking will help you stay healthy and well.


Contents from Medifast (Modified)

1 comment:

  1. All great tips!! Common sense, but for some reason, I seem to 'forget' when I need to use them!