The Holiday Balancing Act - Planning Ahead
12 Dec

The Holiday Balancing Act - Planning Ahead


Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” It’s important  to go into the holiday season with a plan to avoid those feelings of failure when it comes to our health and fitness. The following strategies can help you stay on track and successfully navigate the holiday season.

 

    1. Eat at regular meal times daily and avoid skipping meals.
      • To maintain your bodies natural rhythm, strive to eat balanced meals at regular times throughout the day. By planning ahead, you will avoid skipping meals and possibly throwing off your daily rhythms. Researchers have found that skipping meals throughout the day can potentially cause risky metabolic changes, such as elevated fasting glucose levels and a delayed insulin response. This can contribute to “metabolic impairment,” which can potentially raise the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    1. Prep Healthy Food Alternatives ahead of time.
      • Have healthy, prepared food readily available as an alternative to holiday treats. Simply making the time to prepare chopped veggies or make-ahead-meals, can set you up for success. Our bodies energy levels fall when we’re hungry, so keep it strong by giving it healthy fuel.

    1. Drink plenty of water.
      • We often times confuse hunger for dehydration. When you feel hungry, think of how much water you’ve consumed during the day and go for a glass of water rather than that sweet holiday treat or in-between-meal snack. Try to drink 1/2 of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day.

    1. Avoid the Afternoon Pumpkin-Spice-Latte or Late Night Espresso after dessert.
      • Caffeine has a half-life of about 5-8 hours. Meaning that, after 8 hours, half the caffeine you consumed is still active in your system which can cause major disturbances to your sleep. Simply going for a walk, opting for a glass of water, or having a small, healthy snack can help to ward off those afternoon cravings.

    1. Decide ahead of time what your drink limit will be.
      • By knowing how many drinks you plan to consume, you can pace yourself throughout the evening, and possibly pass on that refill. Alcohol inhibits the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine and increases the transport of toxins across the intestinal walls, as well as limits our body’s ability to access REM sleep. That lack of deep sleep can greatly diminish our energy levels the following day and suppress our immune system.

  1. Go to Bed - Get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly.
  • Sleep Deprivation can set in after just one night of 6 or less hours of sleep or when regularly going to bed after 10:30pm. Eve Van Cauter, PhD, called sleep deprivation “The royal route to obesity.” The consequences of sleep deprivation, if not addressed, can make it difficult to lose weight, recover from illness or injury and see results from a training program. There are 24 hours in the day - Balance work and rest appropriately.
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