10 Tips for Happy Holidays
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is upon us, and sometimes that can mean overindulging in more ways than one. But, don't let the holidays derail you from the healthy eating and exercising habits you’ve developed.
Here are 10 tips for making this holiday season a healthier one:
- Keeping Moving. The holidays can be a busy time, but don’t forgo your usual work out. Instead, minimize the impact of the extra calories from parties and holiday dining by heading out for your weekly run or bike ride. Not only will exercising get your metabolism going, but it will help you have a healthy mindset all season long.
- Eat a Healthy Breakfast. Sure, a holiday cocktail hour awaits you after work, but, that doesn’t mean every meal of the day needs to be one of epic proportions. Plan a healthy breakfast of oatmeal and fruit or greek yogurt and nuts to get your day started right. And set out healthy snacks like sliced fruits, veggies, and nuts at your desk to be sure that when you get the urge to nosh- you’re eating foods that make you feel your best.
- Drink up! Water that is… Be sure you drink plenty of water every day! Sometimes, when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just dehydrated. When you drink the recommended 8 glasses of 8oz. or more a day, you’ll head off the need to nosh mindlessly and be more likely to stick to appropriate portions.
Say It With Me
“I Deserve This”
The other day, a friend who had returned from visiting her ill mother over the weekend, said to me, “I feel disgusted with myself. I haven’t worked out in days.” This friend is quite fit, and cares for herself in so many different ways. I couldn’t believe she was talking that way about herself! Then, I heard another friend remark that she was pathetic when she was struggling to complete a particularly challenging circuit during our work out. And, still another friend is in a constant state of self loathing because she is a couple pounds shy of her goal weight.
When I hear women talk about themselves this way, I feel sad.
Exercise is supposed to be a way to take care of yourself, not another reason to shame and hurt yourself. Exercise can be so empowering, so life-giving, if you allow yourself to tell the truth. And the truth is this: you are beautiful, you are strong, and you deserve to be put back onto your own priority list. No excuses. But also: no apologies.
5 Excuses You Need to Stop Making
I get it, there’s always a “good” reason not to exercise and eat right. But, now is the time to get back into healthy habits and to make yourself a priority again on your own to do list. Here are 5 excuses you need to stop making, so you can get yourself back in the game at the Fitness Lab.
- Healthy Eating/Exercise is Not in My Budget. For some of us, it’s true, we are on a shoestring budget. But, some things to consider cutting before your gym membership include: your cable subscription, your happy hour bill, your coffee shop latte, your grocery store dessert and alcohol menu. Each of these things will not only help you save enough to pay your way into a better exercise program it will also help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals. A win/win.
- I Have an Injury. If you’ve been cutting exercise from your daily routine because of a nagging injury, it may be time to rethink your lifestyle. Oftentimes, exercise can help you to improve nagging issues such as back or hip problems, migraines, or even mental health concerns. Consult with a doctor and figure out a way to make exercise or at least physical therapy a part of your life again.
Fall Favorites Re-Visited
As autumn approaches, I’m always struck by how quickly my activity level goes down and my appetite for fatty, sugary treats goes up. The weather starts to take a turn for the cold, and I just end up spending less time outdoors with my family.
In the summer, each night after dinner my family of 6 would go for a walk through our neighborhood. But now, that extra hour to explore and play is taken up with homework, books, bath time, and a more rigid bedtime schedule.
In the summer, the sun was up so early it was easy to get out our bed for a morning jog. But, already lugging myself out of my warm bed to head out into chilly, dewy (or even rainy) dark streets for a run doesn’t feel nearly as fun.
In the summer, the season’s best delicacies were juicy watermelons and freshly tossed salads with decadent portions of avocado to top them off. But, hearty soups, casseroles, and baked goods all sound more appealing these days.
Some of the markers of fall for me go way back to my childhood. Sleeping in, snuggled up in my bed until the last possible second. Staying up to scoop up a portion of just baked pie from the oven. Old habits and easy comforts die hard. But, just because it isn’t a good idea to snuggle up with a baked good in hand every night before bed, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the season!
4 Misconceptions about Your Diet
1. If you exercise, you don’t have to eat right.
Exercise is so vital to your health, and it is a great tool for losing weight. In fact, people who exercise are more likely to lose weight and to maintain it. But, without eating right, it will be much tougher to reach your goals. You need to eat well AND exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And, weight loss is all about calories in versus calories out, which means if you are burning 400 calories during your daily work out at the Fitness Lab but still eating 3,000 calories a day, you’ll see your body get more toned but not necessarily more lean.
2. If you eat foods that are good for you, you don’t have to pay attention to portions.
Again, losing weight is all about calories in versus calories out. Eating right is a big part of curbing overeating because when you provide your body with the nourishment it needs, you are less likely to crave foods that are bad for you. BUT if you are used to eating more calories than your body needs it will take time for your body to adjust to feeling fulfilled eating only what it actually needs. In the meantime you will need to be intentional about how much you eat and you may even have to ignore your body’s hunger signals at first until your body is used to accurate and healthy portion sizes.