December - Tis' the Season
The holiday season is all about enjoying cocktails, sugary treats and tons of parties with friends and family, so, eat and be merry!! Right? Well, almost. We have a few tips to help get you through the festive season, to make sure that everyone has a good time, while also making sure that they are eating, if not completely, then at least partially right.
It's often easy to lose sight of your goals during all the summer fun. Although not as dangerous as winter, summer can spoil your weight loss efforts if you're not careful. When you're at a BBQ, it's amazing how unimportant your diet can feel. But, the next day, a little relapse can feel like a huge failure. Here are a few, yet effective, tips to help you stay on track all summer long.
1. First of all, prepare your holiday
Vacations are a minefield when it comes to diets. Rich foods, delicious drinks, rest & recreation in the sun. Although they're often the result of your goals, they can set you way back if you're not careful. Of course, you should treat yourself, but don't let yourself go overboard. One way to prevent your holiday from setting you back is to prepare beforehand. Resolve to exercise a little bit every morning while you are on holiday to keep yourself on track, even if it's just a few laps in the pool or a quick walk down the beach. If you do this, you'll start every day off right and be less tempted by the little things throughout the day. It will also make resuming your exercise regime easier when you get back home.
Because holiday foods can be high in calories and low on the nutrition, make it a priority to eat five or more fruits and vegetables a day (choose the whole fruit instead of juice so you feel fuller for longer and avoid added sugar). Carry a bag of baby carrots so you always have a healthy snack available. A great way to keep you full and blood sugar levels balanced is to have a Alpha LipidTM SDII shake.
While attending a party try taking your own low-calorie dish, so that there is at least one healthy option. Additionally, try moving around at parties, mingling with others, and taking small bites of everything, instead of staying put in front of the food table. We can’t stress enough: Do not skip meals! Small, frequent meals and healthy snacks will help you avoid overeating later, especially at BBQ’s and parties. If you do overindulge during one meal, all is certainly not lost. Simply resume your planned diet at the next meal. Eat slowly to give your body time to register, skip appetisers, choose healthier options, and focus your attention on the party itself instead of loitering near the food.
Among the most prominent tips offered are to not restrict yourself, but limit servings of calorie ridden food to small portions. Also, try eating slowly, the faster you eat, the more you will end up consuming. The key, therefore, is to enjoy the food, slowly.
2. Chart your progress over the summer months
During the hustle and bustle of everything, it's easy to lose track of how much progress you're making. Keep a summer journal tracking your weight and exercise schedule, or even just your eating habits. Write down your weight once a week and be sure to record every time you exercise. Just marking off the days you exercised will keep your progress in mind. By the end of the summer, you'll be amazed at the work you've done and the progress you've made. A food diary also helps a lot. Not only does it track your progress, but it helps you make those hard decisions, to have that chocolate, or to not. Another tip is to monitor alcohol and fizzy consumption, as both are high in sugar. Temper your intake alternating between water and alcoholic drinks. Other good substitutes are herbs and spices instead of salts and sugars.
As always, regular exercise will help you maintain your weight, stay fit and decrease stress. Exercise gives you energy in addition to burning calories. Exercise first thing in the morning this time of year, because it will become more challenging during day with shopping and holiday parties.
3. Do a little bit everyday
Just like it's easy to lose track of your progress during the summer season, you can also get so busy that you forget to focus on your weight loss goals. The key to this (and this works in any season) is to just do a little every day. Don't do one marathon session each week at the gym -- aim for short workouts more frequently or do a little extra walking in the morning. If you absolutely can't make it to the gym or don't have the time to be a little more active, replace an unhealthy snack with a healthy one like a ShapeUp or Alpha LipidTM SDII shake. These little bits of effort by themselves are pretty insignificant, but if you keep it up throughout the summer, they add up, like how tiny grains of sand make up a beach. If you do a little every day during the summer, you will also find it easier to stay on track when the weather begins to fade into fall and winter. Remember, though, that moderation is the key. Instead of denying yourself treats altogether, just restrict yourself to a taste.
4. Remember how far you have come
It's so easy to forget where you started. This can lead to disappointment and feelings of failure. Some people forget what it was like to have those extra kgs, or intense cravings. They get down on themselves because they are not where they want to be; but if they are fair with themselves, it's obvious that they've made a lot of progress that they can feel good about. Even if you just started trying to reach your target weight, remember how much internal struggle it took just to get up the energy for the effort. If you remember where you started from, you can always feel proud of your dprogress and avoid those feelings of discouragement. You don’t want to reverse EVERYTHING, over a few short weeks!!
So, remember, eat every 2-3 hours, portion size is the key, and don’t let your exercise habits slip. If you remember this, you should be good to go.