Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Years isn't the only kind of countdown

Happy December to everyone! The thing about it being December means that it is only a few weeks away from Christmas and New Years. Christmas parties cause an overabundance of eating (and normally things that are bad for you) and New Years consists of making resolutions to take off all the extra weight that we've put on in the last few weeks. This seems to be a vicious cycle that so many people go through every year. Steve Edwards, one of the P90X newsletter writers wrote an article entitled "A 10-Point Plan for Holiday Diet Success: Give Your Body Something to Cheer About". Essentially this article consists of 10 tips to help individuals to reach their weight goals as well as having a more positive outlook when ringing in the new year. In the spirit of New Years, lets do a countdown!

10.) Visualize- This doesn't have to take very long and you can actually do it right now. Close your eyes and imagine yourself a year from now, this is your visualization so it can be anywhere and you can get as creative as you want. Now hold onto that visualization.

9.) Create an event for next year- This gives you something to motivate you and look forward to. This can be anything from a high school reunion to an amazing beachside vacation. This gives you something to look forward to and keep you going strong between now and then.

8.) Plan a training program- "Begin by finding a monthly calendar and figure out how much time you have until your event," said Edwards. "Next, make a loose training program. You don't have to decide exactly what to do right now. Maybe start with progress you'd like to make each month leading to the event. Then pick an exercise program (or series of programs) that'll help you achieve your goals over that time.
Be realistic. It might be difficult for you to focus on exercise and diet during the holidays, so you might want to schedule yourself a bit of flexibility for now. At this point, your aim is to plant a seed in your mind to keep you focused on a bigger goal as you go through the holidays. This little extra bit of motivation will be enough to keep your holidays from becoming one long binge."

7.) In the spirit of the holiday's it is important to remember that it is better to give than it is to recieve- Edwards suggests and said, "It's time to get busy. You've planted an image of success in your mind and on paper. Now you've got to get practical. Just how are you supposed to stick with an exercise program when temptation looms around every corner? Start by becoming proactive about the season. Become a giver. Instead of letting the holiday festivities come to you, where you'll have little control over them, plan them yourself. Help out with the company Christmas party, or plan your friends' New Year's get-together. If you're the organizer, you have a lot more control over the relative healthiness of the event. You must be reasonable, of course. You won't get the gig again if you turn Thanksgiving dinner into a tofu-and-broccoli Zen-fest, but being in charge allows you to make healthy options available. Plus you'll be busy, which'll leave you less time for indulging."

6.) Learn to cook- One of the easiest ways to eat healthy is to prepare the food yourself that way you know exactly what is going into it. Once you get in the habit of cooking you will find things that you like better than others. Practice makes perfect you will also learn to cook good healthy meals and if you make them for someone else not only can you show off you can also be proud of yourself.

5.) Snacks are imperative-  "Let's face it, over the next month your workplace is going to be filled with temptation. Willpower alone might not be enough. Since the easiest way to avoid these things is to be full, plan to snack throughout your day. Head to the market and fill your cart with healthy snacking options like fruit and raw veggies. OK, this probably sounds boring, but these foods are loaded with fiber and have very few calories, so they'll fill you up without filling you out. A large apple has about the same number of calories as a tiny square of chocolate. By munching on fruits and veggies all day, you'll keep your stomach full, which will make you far less likely to dig into the Christmas cookies. And if or when you do choose to indulge a bit, it'll be far, far easier not to overdo it," said Edwards.

4.) Load up on water- This helps your tummy stay full. This will keep one from being tempted to overindulge in bad for you snack food. When you are at the office be sure to drink one glass of water every hour. This also keeps you hydrated (which is always a plus).

3.) Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy, well maybe not Diddy, but feel good. Rise and Shine!- Start your day with a few minutes devoted solely to yourself. While lying in bed, breathe in your nose and out of your mouth, visualize your goals and create a plan of action. By doing this every morning you are less likely to feel overwhelmed with the day ahead. You will also have a better outlook and overall day by doing this and that will help you to make better decisions.

2.) How to eat the holiday meals according to Edwards is as follows- "You're almost certainly going to overeat, but here are a few rules you can follow to stack the odds in favor of your figure:"
  • Drink a large glass of water 30 minutes prior to the meal.
  • Begin with a salad. Go light on the dressing, and eat as much as you can. You probably see a pattern but, again, water and fiber are going to fill space in your stomach and make it much harder to overeat.
  • Don't be shy. These meals were meant to be social and the more you talk and listen, the less you'll eat. Have you ever had a meal where you've been so involved in a conversation that you've forgotten to eat? Try making it a goal.
1.) How to bounce back when you've bounced off track- Edwards explains that at some point we all kind of blow it, but he explains that just because you've messed up doesn't mean that you are completely screwed. "It just doesn't matter," said Edwards. "If we were perfect, life would be boring, right? Anyway, one day isn't going to hurt you. What you need to avoid is one day turning into two, then three, and so on. So on those days when you've backslid, try this nighttime ritual that'll have those little gaps in your willpower filled in before you wake up:"

  • "Have a cup of herbal tea or drink a glass of water before bed. Herbal tea is great. It's both hydrating and calming. If you've been drinking alcohol and fear a hangover, take vitamins and drink some electrolytes. Don't worry about calories at this point. Offsetting the effects of alcohol is more important. The most common effects of a hangover result from dehydration and lack of sleep. You need nutrients and water to fight these off."
  • Woman Stretching"Stretch. A few minutes of slow and easy stretching will relax you and help you begin the process of recovering from the day's activities. A scant 2 minutes is a million times better than no minutes."
  • "Relax and reflect. Lie in bed, focus on relaxed breathing, and take a minute to reflect on yourself and your future, and then let it go. Don't think too much. You don't want to get excited, because you might lose your ability to sleep. You just want to center your thoughts and get them away from your negative associations of "blowing it." Tomorrow, as Scarlett O'Hara famously said, is another day."

No comments:

Post a Comment