The holidays are almost here and so is the challenge of not packing on holiday pounds. With the parties, traveling, and all of that yummy temptation, how does anyone not put on at least a few pounds? New data from the CDC states that 37% of Americans are obese. Ouch! I have learned some strategies over the years to help me maintain the weight/body composition through the holidays. So join me in holding your weight this holiday season.
For most, we know our holiday party schedule in advance. This includes Thanksgiving and Christmas. We can do a few simple things leading up to holiday season to combat those holiday pounds.
- Detoxify Your Body A month before holiday season consider doing a fall detox. We are exposed to 700 or more different toxins on a daily basis. Toxicity in our body has a multitude of negative effects on the way our body functions and feels which I will discuss in an upcoming article. I do a 10-day detoxification in the spring and fall to reset my body. I am starting mine today. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me.
- Eat 1/3 less the week before your party This has worked for me over the years. When I know of a holiday party, I am conscious of eating less the week before. What does that mean? Stick with lots of steamed veggies and protein combined with healthy fats. Skip the starch the week before. I strive for 4-6 small meals daily (salad plate size). Eat protein and veggies with every meal and snack. Here is a portion guide:
Palm = Proteins: Make protein portions the size of your palm. Protein is found in animal products, like fish, chicken, beef, pork, wild game, eggs, and cheese. Some veggie protein sources include legumes (beans, etc.), tofu, tempeh, and quinoa.
Thumb = Fats: Fats are important, but they're also very dense, so match fat portions to the size of your thumb. Good fat sources are avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds.
Fist = Fruits, Grains, etc.: Your bread, fruit, cereal, rice, and grain portions should be about equal to the size of your closed fist. Remember that it's always preferable to consume whole grains.
Hand = Veggies: Open your hand and spread your fingers as wide as you can. That's a good vegetable portion. Raw vegetables are loaded with fiber and nutrients, and they contain very few calories. Steamed al dente is great too, especially in the winter. Remember your greens like spinach, kale, and swiss chard.
- Drink more water We should be drinking half of our body weight in ounces of water each day. Example: If you weigh 140 pounds you should be drinking about 70 ounces of water daily. Through the holidays, drink a glass or two more. Have a glass of water 30 minutes before you eat to fill your tummy. No water with your meal as it dilutes your digestive juices. Start drinking water again about an hour after your meal.
- Get moving A little exercise every day goes a long way. Strive for 150 minutes each week and especially over the holidays. That is only 30 minutes- 5 days of the week. If you don't have time for a full workout, a few things you can do to move more are: park at the end of the parking aisle at the store; walk a couple of times around the block at lunch; take 10 deep breaths; and stand up and sit all the way down in your chair 30 times (3 sets of 10). Exercise helps lower your blood pressure, reduce your stress hormone Cortisol (remember Cortisol makes us FAT), removes toxins and improves circulation among other benefits. You can also try some or all of the exercise strategies from my Fall Fitness article.
- Hold yourself accountable Enlist the help of someone whether a friend or relative. Committing to exercise with someone increases our likelihood to do it! You can also join a class at one of the health clubs or hire a personal trainer.
Strategies for Party Day
- Eat Breakfast breakfast with protein and good fats will keep you satisfied. An omelet or scrambled eggs with some chopped peppers, green onion, spinach or kale, black beans, and salsa is my go-to holiday morning breakfast.
- Drink Water You can't drink too much. Add some lemon or lime slices, fresh mint and cucumber to add some flavor. Drink two 8 ounce glasses right before the party and an 8-ounce glass every hour.
- Get Moving Exercise boosts your metabolism so you'll be burning more of those holiday calories for a few hours after you exercise. Take a morning walk or do the minutes of exercise from my previous article.
- Scale Down Your Plate Choose the smallest plate there is at your party, teacup size if available. Some protein and veggies is a better choice than crackers, chips, and dips. Even if you go back for more you will still be eating less with the smaller plates. The water that you drank earlier and when you arrived has your tummy already full. This applies to all of the pre-dinner noshing on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Enjoy The Party Have fun and enjoy the holidays as we have enough stress in our lives.
The holiday season is about enjoying our family and loved ones, and being thankful for all of the many blessings in our lives. Use these tips to avoid packing on the pounds during this time of celebration.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs has been practicing with her husband Dr. Scott Henrichs at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander since 1994. Drs. Wendy and Scott Henrichs provide comprehensive chiropractic care among other services including rehabilitation and wellness services. Dr. Wendy Henrichs specializes in pediatrics and women's health. Drs. Wendy and Scott Henrichs are board certified and licensed to practice chiropractic and nutrition counseling in Wisconsin and are committed to excellence in meeting your healthcare needs. Timber Land Chiropractic is located at 1 E. Courtney Street in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, call 715-362-4852 or visit us on Facebook.