Did you gain some weight these holidays? Maybe your skinny jeans are fitting a bit tight and you’re now thinking of losing a few pounds? Beware: taking weight loss to an extreme is never necessary. Here are 5 simple tips from leading expert Erin Haslag, Board Certified Wellness Coach, to help you move forward and appreciate your body – giving you a chance to treat it better and better each day.
- Drink your water! During the cooler winter months and the holidays we often forget to drink enough water. According to dietitians, a pang of hunger can often be your body requesting a glass of water. When you feel hungry, try to satiate your hunger with a glass of water. If you’re still feeling hungry 15-20 minutes later, have a small snack in the neighborhood of 150-200 calories.
- Eliminate the holiday food groups. Cut out cookies, candies and salty, savory treats. Snacks loaded with sugar, salt and refined carbohydrates are food groups that you try to avoid out of the holidays. These food groups can take a toll on your body in many ways, thus speeding up the aging process. As you leave the holidays behind, begin to integrate more whole foods and freshly prepared dishes. Local foods that are in season will give your body the best nutrients possible.
- Eat your veggies! Challenge yourself to hold off on treats until have met your veggie quota for the day. Try making a list of your favorite veggies, and finding creative ways to integrate them into your meals and snacks. Veggies will also help to fulfill your body’s need for water, and replace less-than-healthy snack options.
- Ease your way back into exercise. We can often get discouraged because we are trying to attack several areas at once when it comes to our health. “When we fail to meet the high expectations we’ve set for ourselves we give up all together. Take a progressive approach and slowly build back into your pre-holiday routine.” Erin suggests that if you were at the gym 4-5 times a week before the holidays, you should be aiming for 2-3 days for the first few weeks of the new year.
- Step off…the scale! Sugar, salt and other holiday meals cause water retention, which can make you feel bloated, as well as causing the fluctuation in weight you experience after the holidays. If you’re feeling the “weight” of your transgressions, try staying off the scale for a week or two. Instead, track your progress by how you feel – your energy levels, concentration and focus will improve significantly as you tackle re-setting your healthy habits.