Hey guys, this is Dr. Jeni wishing you a very HEALTHY holiday.
During last Saturday’s local Good Success Mastermind we found out that the average American gains 2 pounds of fat during the month of December every year. Every single year. So after a decade of Decembers, you’re up 20 pounds. And 20 years down the road, there’s 40 more pounds of fat hanging around on your body than you need.
I don’t want that for myself or my family, and I’m sure you don’t want that either. I remember holidays growing up had lots of heavy, delicious food. Tables were filled with latkes and potato casseroles, desserts and fried foods. Hanukkah was an 8 day license to eat whatever I wanted, and Christmas was a time of plenty. Plenty on the table and plenty to eat. Plenty of helpings of food that left me feeling plenty stuffed.
How about let’s NOT gain 2 pounds this December! In fact, let’s have a Wellness Challenge to lose 2 pounds by January 1st. Oftentimes New Year’s resolutions will be made after the New Year. People will write out a list of goals or accomplishments they wish to achieve over the coming year. The number one goal on most lists is to lose weight.
But why wait until January what we can start now?
The reason why we gain 2 pounds is from poor food choices at holiday parties, rushing around to all the holiday activities, and not having TIME to eat healthy. Right? So let’s fix that.
These are some of the principles that we brainstormed as a group on Saturday:
- Make your own trail mix and stash it everywhere. Keep ziplock bags of it in the car, house, office, or wherever you are going to be. Stores like Whole Foods, Marianos, and other groceries have bulk foods sections. There you can buy dried fruits and nuts by the pound. Pecans, cashews, almonds, raisins, cranberries, dried coconut, dried banana chips, pumpkin seeds… get whatever your family enjoys. Make a few pounds of it (literally throw whatever you chose into a mixing bowl, stir for 30 seconds and portion out into bags for the week. It takes less than 3 minutes and will save you from fast food runs, costing you money and health. Use unsalted nuts not cooked in oil, and dried fruit without any sugar or oil added. This can all be found out from reading the ingredients.
- Let your friends and family know about your nutrition choices. Recently my friend had 15 guests at her home for Thanksgiving. My friend is gluten free for health reasons, and shared this with her friends planning on attending her Thanksgiving celebration. She told them they did not have to bring gluten free items, but they did! All 15 guests brought gluten free dishes out of respect. Maybe not every single person will bring gluten free items to your family’s holiday gathering; but some of them might, and you may discover new favorite recipes!
- Plan ahead. It sounds super simple. It is. And it works. If you know you’re going to be at an office party with refined carbohydrate desserts galore; plan ahead. Eat before going. Fill up on healthy food in order to eat less of the bad stuff. Bring a healthy dish, or if you have great relationships with your coworkers, ask if can be a healthy food party. We plan ahead in our businesses for the next quarter and next year. Let’s do it for our health.
- Do 100 repetitive exercises a day. Pushups, sit ups, jumping jacks, whatever you chose. 100 seems like a lot, but it’s not really. You can do 25 when you wake up. 25 at lunchtime, 25 before dinner, and 25 before bed. Or you can just crank them all out at once.
- Make healthy recipes for your family parties. With so many plant based, gluten/dairy/paleo blogs out there, there are literally millions of recipes to chose from. You can still have the turkey, ham, sweet potatoes and stuffing, just switch out the unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones. The internet is great for showing you how to do that. https://www.cookinglight.com/christmas/paleo-christmas-recipes
- Take a 15 minute walk each day. Watch 15 minutes less tv, or spend 15 minutes less scrolling through facebook. Just 15 minutes. Walk on a treadmill, walk through your neighborhood, walk while Christmas shopping, or go for a hike. Just 15 minutes. Each day.
- Switch out one of your ‘normal’ meals daily for a healthy meal. Get the salad without croutons and with vinaigrette instead of the burger. Grab a green smoothie instead of that venti mocha frappuccino. Instead of chips and dip choose veggie sticks and hummus. You get the picture. Do this once a day.
- Meal Prep. Make your meals ahead of time and freeze them. This has saved me tons of time as well as the stress of having to make dinner for our family of 3 every night. I often cook ahead for several days. Leftovers are great. Dice up that leftover Christmas ham and toss it in scrambled eggs, have it on a salad, or use in lettuce wraps. Dedicating one day a week to prepare large quantities of food, then not having to worry about it for several days really reduces stress- and bad last minute fast food decisions.
- Keep a food journal. Writing down what you eat helps keep you accountable to… YOU! This will show you how you eat on the regular, and can help you to see where the problem areas are to fix.
- Weigh yourself every day this month. After waking up and using the bathroom, weigh yourself and write down the number. When you start to lose weight, it is very encouraging to see the number on the scale going down. Weighing yourself daily will also allow you to see if the number is rising, and is a tangible way to measure results.
- Drink more water. Last month we had a water challenge, and this month, if we continue to drink more water, it will only benefit our bodies more. Keep a large water bottle with you and fill it up several times. Setting an alarm on your phone to drink more water, and choosing water over pop or alcohol at restaurants are all ways to increase your hydration, and boost weight loss results.
And you will get results! Can you imagine the improvement in your health by walking 15 minutes a day? From having your own healthy trail mix to snack on instead of fast food? From changing out one of your regular meals each day for one healthy one? From doing 100 crunches daily? The more of these principles you follow, the more weight you will lose in December. Wouldn’t it feel great to not put on 2 pounds of fat like the average American during December? Wouldn’t it feel great to start the new year out right? Won’t it be great to not have an extra two pounds to lose come January?!
This December I encourage you to participate in this wellness challenge. Let’s lose 2 pounds together by following some of these simple principles to have a healthy holiday. I am available for support, and I encourage you to share healthy recipes, post pictures of healthy family dinners, and post encouragement to one another for this challenge on GroupMe. Set up your own group, or comment below and I’ll invite you to join mine!
In Good Wellness,