Well, it’s the first few days after New Year’s, so just how do you feel? Maybe a little guilty, depressed that you let your guard down and over-indulged during the holiday season and had more than you should of, of all that holiday fare? Well, put that depressed mood in a drawer and close it, maybe even lock it. Don’t get down on yourself for enjoying the foods you like and probably are only available during this festive time of the year.
If you did overdo it, make sure you dump the guilt, after all, it’s not going to help you at all. The thing to do is fess up, and get yourself back on the right track of nutrition that you practiced during those 10 months out of the year that gave you the results you were proud of.
Now, the key to getting back on track is to not go “Cold-Turkey” on eating. You need to eat and not skip meals. That’s probably the worst thing you could do to yourself. You may think it’s the fast way to shed some pounds and have your jeans start to feel a little lose around your middle. But the fact is, by skipping meals, you’re going to make yourself feel even hungrier than you may actually be. It’s at this point when the “Snatch n Grab” syndrome kicks in and you give in at the worst times and start grabbing up those leftover goodies in the fridge, or that tin of Christmas cookies that were meant to be brought out later in the month of January as a treat. Well, by skipping those meals you really tempt your willpower and most of us are going to lose that battle.
The first thing you need to do to get back on track is to get back to your eating schedule that you established prior and kept up through the year! Each day, eat breakfast within an hour of waking up and eat again every 3 to 5 hours. Starting your day with a healthy meal and enjoying evenly spaced meals will maximize your metabolism, regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels, and level out your appetite. I know it may be tempting to cut way back, but starving yourself completely backfires. Eating too little forces your body to switch into conservation mode and burn fewer calories, which means you're more likely to hang onto body fat. And under eating can cause your body to break down muscle mass for fuel, which also causes a metabolic slowdown. Unless you want to wind up thinner but flabbier, eating enough and at regular times is key. And this is nothing new to you. If you’ve been following these blog posts for a while, you know that eating smaller portions throughout the day, maybe 5 total will keep those hunger pangs at bay and eat the right snacks will also help you to keep your metabolism moving, breaking down those nutrients and leaving your muscles alone.
Cut Back, but Don't Cut Out Carbs
Nixing carbs completely can force your body to burn protein for fuel instead of using it to support and maintain your calorie-burning muscle. So instead of cutting carbs out, just cut back. Pair veggies and lean protein with a small amount of a healthy fat and a small serving of whole grains. I recommend aiming for 2 cups of veggies (about two baseball's worth), 3 ounces (deck of cards) or a 1/2 cup (half a baseball) of a lean protein such as tofu, beans, fish or poultry, a 1/2 cup of a whole grain such as quinoa, barley or wild rice, and a little bit of healthy fat like extra-virgin olive oil, chopped avocado, or sliced almonds.
Here's a great example: Sauté one cup of veggies such as onions, sliced grape tomatoes, chopped asparagus and mushrooms in a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil with garlic and herbs. Serve over a cup of organic greens, and top with a half-cup of cooked quinoa (warm or chilled) and 3 ounces of diced chicken breast or a half-cup of lentils. Dust with cracked black pepper and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar. These portions and proportions will leave you feeling full, satisfied and energized while you still see results (in other words you won't be starving, moody, irritable, or depressed with no energy and out-of-control cravings). There are many kinds of nutrient, good carb based diets out there and we are going to look at them throughout the course of the year, so come on back and check us out as we examine the good the bad and the lean!
Drink More H2O: You've heard this for many years now, but its still important that you get your fill and not cut back on this important liquid that makes up most of our body weight.
Water does support optimal metabolism and some research shows it may naturally curb your appetite, but it can also help you feel better fast. Drinking more water flushes out excess sodium to help you quickly de-bloat, and it gets things moving in your digestive system to relieve constipation. Aim for 2 to 2.5 liters a day (about 8 to 10 cups). And don't think you can substitute coffee for this, you can't. You need pure, hopefully, filtered water to give back to your body what you’re being more active takes away!
You noticed we said just above about being more active, yes, well we sneaked that in. Just so you realize that getting back to eating the right portions and making sure those portions contain the right types of foods to help make you feel full, but more importantly, give you the energy you need to fuel your body so you can maintain that exercise regimen you adopted throughout the previous year and with a new commitment to continue with it throughout all of 2018 and beyond.
So, for our purposes, you still need to be accountable for what you’re doing, and how much you’re burning through those calories your ingesting and those that you banked during the holiday season. So to do this, yes you need a tool to help you to hold yourself accountable. Just like a good one that I recommend can take you from this year to the next and beyond in tracking your progress is the Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate & Activity Tracker . The Fitbit Charge 2 is specially tailored with some cutting-edge features like the PurePulse heart rate monitor, which makes it easy to track your cardio fitness levels and get the most out of your workouts. The all-day activity tracking and auto sleep tracking allows you to observe how your daily routine adds up. So why not give yourself that after the holiday’s present? After all, it’s the one gift you can give to yourself that is sure to provide you with the incentive you need to stay on track as you keep to a solid course of exercise and proper nutrition.
Bottom line, just get back up on your horse and keep going along the path to a healthier you for 2018!
Happy New Year from your staunch friends here at PedometersUSA.com