(originally posted 12/2/2016. libbysfitnutrition.com)
You have probably read other articles on tips for eating around the holidays, but in my experience, repetition is never a bad thing when it comes to making a new habit. In fact, maybe there will be things on this list that you have NOT heard yet...you never know what is going to be of great use to you...so read on, and apply as needed. :)
1) Drink water! Hydration is often forgotten with coffee, hot cocoa, and alcohol fighting for top contenders in your liquid category at this time of year. Thirst is readily mistaken for hunger when tasty options are before you. So remember to drinkyour 8 glasses of water (or tea) every day. Try drinking a pint before you leave the house, carrying a water bottle with you, alternating alcohol with water, and eating water-rich foods such as apples, cucumber, grapes, and salad greens.
2) Eat what you really want. Don't keep munching on things you "should" eat, and end up over eating because you are not fulfilling your cravings. This is probably the only time of year for your aunt's famous sugar cookies, Grandma's pie and stuffing, and other family goodies; enjoy them, savor them. You will probably end up eating less over all if you don't deny what you want.
3) Fit in exercise every day. Whether it is a dance DVD in your living room, a run in the brisk morning air, a gentle walk with the family (or the dog), or a class/weights at the gym. Be like Nike and, "Just Do It." Exercise will keep you in a better mood - and that is helpful to everyone around you as well!
4) Don't let ALL your meals be splurges. Big Christmas dinner? Eat healthy breakfast and lunch that day so you are not overdoing it (do NOT skip meals!!!). It is easy to fall into the habit of splurging at every meal during this season, whether that is what is in the house, or you feel so stressed you "deserve it," remember there are celebrations all year round, and you need to focus if you do not want to become 'round.' Do eat what you love, but you don't have to sample that so-so dish, just because Aunt Sally made it.
5) Send away the leftovers. Hosting a get-together? At the end of the meal, pack up leftovers into small containers and send most of it away with guests. If there is less in your fridge, there is less for you to pick at later.
Have other tips that work well for your holiday stress levels around food? Share in the comments below!
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(originally posted 1/6/2016. libbysfitnutrition.com)
Happy New Year!
Kicking off a healthy year, I prefer to use the term “goals” instead of “resolutions” when planning my year ahead.
As with any goal make sure it is a S.M.A.R.T. goal (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based). Instead of “I am going to get a job,” a better goal would be “I am going to update my resume and apply to 15 relevant positions by May 1st.”
How about making those goals, whatever they may be, stick?
Write them down on pretty paper (or type on a fancy background) so that your goals are aesthetically pleasing.
Then post your list of goals where you will see it every day. When we are constantly reminded of our intentions it is easier to take action toward them.
Now, let’s dig into how to break down a goal into achievable steps.
1) Write a S.M.A.R.T. goal (as covered previously). Ex: I want to lose 10 pounds by May 1st.
2) Think about all the ways you can accomplish the goal. Ex: I can plan meals ahead of time, and pack a lunch for work, I can eat a vegetable at every meal, I can track my food in a journal, I can get a buddy to keep me accountable to going to the gym…
3) Pick 1-3 methods that are most realistic for you. Ex: I will start writing down everything I eat, and buy 2 more veggies when I go to the store.
4) Try it!
5) Assess what works and what doesn’t. Ex: tracking food on paper did not work, because I kept leaving the paper at home – but, I did find a cycling class I love at the gym!
6) Change things that are not working. Ex: I can use a phone app my friend raved about to track my food, and I always have my phone with me.
7) Find ways to measure progress periodically, but don’t give up if you backtrack a little. Ex: I will get on the scale weekly to see if I am losing weight, but I won’t beat myself up if the scale is not moving as long as I am following my plan.
8) When behaviors become second nature, add more. Ex: I am now going to Saturday morning class at the gym without thinking, I will add Wednesday evenings as well.
9) Celebrate! Do not wait to reach your “goal” if you have made improvement. Celebrate the little goals along the way!Ex: I went to the gym 3 days a week every week this month – I am treating myself to a massage.
(originally posted 12/23/2015. libbysfitnutrition.com)
Let's get the new year set up right, so that we can make the most of our goals.
Now I purposely use the term "goals" instead of "resolutions" when talking about changes I am working on in the coming year. Why? Because a goal indicates a measurable end result, whereas I see resolution as a change of habit, but not measurable to track progress. So, how do we make goals we will actually achieve? Make them "SMART".
What does that mean? You are going to be Specific in setting your goal, instead of saying, "I am going to eat healthier" you will say, "I am going to eat a serving of veggies at every meal." Measurable - you can measure success by knowing if you did or did not eat veggies at your meals; Attainable - will you actually eat veggies? Do you know how to prepare them in a way you like? Are you able to get to a grocery store often enough to have them fresh 3 times a day, or will you buy frozen? Realistic - Does this goal fit with your lifestyle? Are you making your own foods and can be sure to eat more veggies, or does someone else do all the shopping and cooking? Will your family eat the veggies with you or at least support you? Timely - Have a way to work up to your goal. Maybe start with I will eat veggies at least once a day, and after a few weeks say you are going to eat them twice a day, and so forth until you are at your goal.
End of the year: How did you do? have you met your goal and been able to maintain it? If yes, then you set a SMART goal :)
Happy Goal setting!
If you need help setting goals, or are in need of accountability, contact me for counseling to get you on the track to making your dreams and goals come true this year!
(originally posted 11/13/2013. libbysfitnutrition.com)
Afraid you are going to end up more stuffed than the turkey this Thanksgiving? Here are a few simple tips to have a happier, healthier, holiday.
Libby Parker, RD, CPT
First published: https://www.mindbodyonline.com/blog/2013/11/dont-be-the-turkey-stay-fit-this-thanksgiving
Libby is a Registered Dietitian focusing on student eating disorder treatment and prevention. She is working on the central coast to create wellness in individuals and the community.
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