Three emails this weekend about Holiday Weight Gain are prompting a Post. Don’t Diet In December; don’t despair if you’ve gained a few pounds since Halloween; don’t “throw in the towel and restart in January”; and don’t kill yourself with extra hard workouts.
All that stuff would be SHORT TERM THINKING, and short term thinking never produces good Long Term Results.
What should you do instead? CHILL. Honestly. It’s the holidays and we’ve all got about 50 extra things on our to-do lists. Stressing about it = CORTISOL, which = WEIGHT GAIN and ILLNESS ( come January or sooner).
In addition to all our “extras”, is the assumption we’ll eat more just because it’s the holidays; constant indulgence = CORTISOL + INSULIN, which = WEIGHT GAIN AND ILLNESS ( come January, or sooner).
Blood sugar becomes a complete mess, and the impulse to soothe stress with food or alcohol feels irresistible. Here’s what to do instead-
1) SUPPLEMENTS and FOOD for Stress and Blood Sugar Control: Fish oil/Omega 3s ( you don’t need the 6’s or 9’s, you already get enough); Cinnamon/Ginger/Turmeric ( blood sugar and inflammation from Cortisol); B Vitamins and Magnesium ( critical when stressed!!); Probiotics ( stress and sugar destroy the good bacteria in our gut).
2) When the going gets tough, strive to make the best choices possible. Extra food, extra alcohol, or skipping too many workouts NEVER ever makes us feel better, ever. There’s always mental and physical regret from that. Going to a party? Bring a vegetable dish so you know there’s at least one item you can eat. Limit your alcohol to just 1 drink, and don’t make it a sugary one ( alcohol = liquid doughnuts!). Going out to a holiday dinner? Set your mind ahead of time that you’re ordering Meat and Vegetables. Look forward to it, think about how good you’ll feel the next morning.
3) If you’ve blown it several times since Halloween, GET OVER IT. Regret and worry keep us living in the past, doing the wrong things over and over. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow’s not here, FOCUS ON TODAY. Make healthy choices today. The mindset of blowing-it/punishment diets MAKES US FAT AND SICK.
4) Exercise as often as possible, but be realistic this month. Can’t make it to the gym for an hour long class or lift? Do 100 push-ups at home. Do wall squats. Do Tabata’s – they’ll kick your butt in 4 minutes! Walk at lunch for 15 minutes. It’s important to move, but weight loss and weight control is really all about the food we put in our mouths and the hormone response that food causes.
5) Feel too busy to cook this month? Think and plan ahead so that you’re not tempted by Fast Food. Buy frozen vegetables, they’re just as nutrient filled as fresh and sometimes MORE nutrient filled than fresh; or buy already cut-up veggies. Throw burger patties, chicken breasts, or a roast in a crock pot with a little water. Make sure you have plenty of butter/olive oil and shredded cheese in your house. Buy the already prepared meatballs/kabobs/fish from the Butcher. Boil a dozen eggs to keep in the fridge. Make sure you have string cheese, fresh fruit, and carrots and celery available. Nut butters and nuts are also easy and quick. Cook big batches of food on the weekends; and keep a running grocery list handy.
6) Read this Post on Diets and Mindset.
In other words, despite the Holiday Season’s extra demand’s, we don’t have to Gain Weight, Get Sick, or Go Crazy. It’s all about planning and mindset.
Lastly, here’s a recipe from my Paleo Christmas Party that’s going to be a Holiday Tradition at our house: Pecan Pie Cookies. DELICIOUS!! My picky/suspicious eater (Shelby) loved them, and so did everyone else.