The holidays have arrived and that means one thing: food and beverages will be flowing in abundance. While we all deserve to splurge (and is there any better time than the holidays?), it’s also important for healthy eating habits to stay within reach. Many of us are guilty of overdoing it during the festivities, only to regret it at the start of the new year. Then come trickling in the resolutions to diet and lose weight. How many of us actually stick to this resolution? What’s the problem with returning to these fad diets to try to drop weight quick?
Well, the problem is that fad diets don’t work. Even worse, they’re typically UNHEALTHY for you. They are so restricting and unbalanced that they are impossible to stick to, meaning you’ll throw in the towel and go right back to where you started before long. The sooner you realize there is no quick fix, the better. The bottom line is that healthy weight management means healthy eating and regular exercise.
According to the Foundation for Economic Education, truly forming complex healthy habits that you stick to can take an average of 66 days. Obviously they don’t come quickly or easily and take serious effort, but IT CAN BE DONE! We have four simple tips to give you a jumpstart to becoming more aware of what you’re putting in your body this holiday season, and to help you form better habits for continuous overall better health:
Know Your Body
The first step to creating good habits that will be the foundation for your health is to learn about your body and what it needs. One way to do this is by knowing your blood type and creating a personalized nutrition plan based on it. Your blood type can help divulge what diseases you are susceptible to, how your body will react to certain foods and more. Tapping into your body and paying attention to how it handles different foods will help you pave the perfect pathway to feeling your best. Want to know more? Check out the book, Eat Right for your Type, by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo and Catherine Whitney!
Beware The Beverages
Some people don’t realize just how many calories they’re taking in with their drinks. Sodas, juices and alcohol can really add on the pounds. Say it with me: “Water is my friend.” Begin making it a habit to drink eight, 8-oz. glasses of water per day. This is an easy habit to form and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel when properly hydrated.
Check Those Portions
Ah yes, portion control. We’ve all heard it and this is probably the hardest to follow during the holidays when everything comes in excess. You want to make sure you’re not completely blowing up your portions. A great habit to form to make sure you’re not overeating? EAT SLOWLY. Give your body time to realize if it’s had enough food. Being mindful of what you eat will help you enjoy your food more. Then when you feel full, really try to recognize that feeling and realize that your body is telling you, “I’m good - I’ve had enough!”
Toss The Processed
Do you love your potato chips? Enjoy a good deli ham sandwich from time to time? Pop in a lean cuisine when you don’t have time to cook? Although these items make up a significant portion of the American diet, they are all processed food, meaning they all have added sugar, salt, or fat that can wreak havoc on your health. Eating processed foods can make you gain weight and even sick. These foods might taste good, but that’s because they are loaded with sugar and trans fats, often in quantities that exceed the recommended daily intake in one serving. They’re also addictive to keep you wanting more. Start paying attention to your intake of processed foods and gradually decrease the amount. Incorporate more nutrient-dense foods that will make you look and feel great.
Forming new habits and sticking to them can be difficult. It’s important to remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Give yourself credit when you do well, and a little slack if you get off course. The important thing is that you realize when you’re off track and force yourself to realign with your long-term goals. What things have you done to help yourself stick to healthy habits long-term?