Christmas is just over a couple of weeks away (at least it was when I started this blog). Now, when it gets posted is another matter. Anyway, there I sat wondering about what I should write about this month and various subjects came to mind. However, I gotta admit, I was struggling on landing on any certain subject. I mean, I know this site is called, Thinking Thin Lifestyle, but, “for crying out loud, it’s Christmas time!”
I coach people who are interested in weight loss and leading a more healthy and fulfilling life. But you know what? That doesn’t mean that I too can’t be tempted by the same Christmas cookies, various culinary offerings or busyness that go with the holidays as you are. I might have the knowledge of making wise choices but I still have to make myself choose those wise choices. And, I’ll admit, that sometimes can be hard. But in the long run, I know it pays off.
So, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season I thought I would give all of us a condensed refresher course on four tips to keep in mind. It’s not a bad idea either to write these tips on a card and put it somewhere in your house where you will see them on a regular basis. These tips are useful not only during the holidays but throughout the rest of the year as well.
- Eating - Eat a balanced diet. A diet that focuses on providing all the nutrients that your body needs. This includes macronutrients like protein, whole carbohydrates and fat along with micronutrients which include vitamins and minerals. In other words, steer clear of the Drive Thru signs. This can be challenging when you are “on the go” all the time. When you feel hurried and harried the temptation can be great to forsake your nutritional needs for convenience sake. NOT a good idea! Before you walk out your door in the morning, take a few minutes to plan out your meal schedule. AND, tuck a couple of healthy snacks in your bag to help curb those cravings.
- Exercising - Along with nutrients, the food we eat contain calories. And if we have more calories coming in than what is being expended the result will be weight gain. And with the convenience of online shopping today you can’t count on walking those calories off at the mall. Use the stairs, park farther out in a parking lot, force yourself to take a walk around the neighborhood, run around with your kids or grandkids, anything to keep moving!
- Sleeping - Especially around the busyness of the holidays it can be easy to become sleep deprived with all of the extra activities tugging at our time. Studies have found that poor sleep is associated with weight gain and a higher likelihood of obesity in both adults and children. Poor sleep can also increase appetite, likely due to its effect on hormones that signal hunger and fullness. When thinking about weight management one doesn't tend to point to quality sleep as a contributing factor. However, along with eating right and exercise, it does play an important part of weight maintenance. So much so, I believe I might just dedicate a whole blog to the subject in the near future.
- Stress control - Stress? During the holidays? Say it ain’t so! Okay, everybody take a nice deep breath. It’s going to be all right! You know, we all love the Christmas carol, Silent Night. But we also know that, “All is calm, all is bright” is not necessarily so during the holidays. People can get a little “testy” around this time, can’t they? You need to be aware that during stress because of increased levels of the hormone, cortisol, we are more tempted to reach for those “comfort foods” that are usually sugary or fatty leading to weight gain. So, in addition to implementing the three tips listed above, take some time to de-stress yourself. Separate yourself from all the clatter the holidays bring. Listen to calming music, watch a funny video -- laughter is a great way to release tension, or practice a progressive muscle relaxation technique such as can be found at this site. http://www.guidetopsychology.com/pmr.htm.
You know, holidays are going to happen as well as other chaotic and busy times in your life. We shouldn’t look at them as roadblocks on our road to a healthy lifestyle. Instead, we just need to learn how to navigate through them and not get sidetracked by what we think are obstacles in the road. And if we happen to hit a big pothole (succumb to temptation) along the way, no biggie. We get a “wheel alignment” and get right back to driving straight toward the goal of a healthy lifestyle.
I understand how this can be difficult for some individuals. They seem to find themselves hitting more potholes in the road than they want, making it hard to stay on track. Does this sound like you? If so, I would encourage you to call me at (616) 516-1570 or schedule an appointment by clicking on the “contact” button you see on the screen. I would love to work with you. To help you discover that with a little different focus and way of thinking you can achieve success and reach your goal of managing your weight and living a healthy lifestyle. And until we meet again, I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!