Many people call the days between Christmas and New Year “twilight weeks”. Most of the holidays are behind us, but the start of the New Year is still ahead. It’s tempting to take this warm time as your last hurrah before January 1. But indulging your own wine and zero sugar cookies may not leave you feeling the best! Instead, why not use this week to alleviate a healthier routine? By 2018, you’ll be moving toward a starting goal – whether you want to lose weight or just eat more carefully. Here are five completely viable strategies to get your health back on track.
Rethink the drink
For most of my clients, alcohol is the number one factor that affects their dietary choices and energy levels. In addition to calories, alcohol can act as an appetite stimulant to lower your inhibitions. This combination usually causes you to eat foods that you usually skip while you’re awake, and to think more fully. A lack of energy the next day may result in less activity and a choice of breakfast comfort foods (such as sugary muffins, greasy breakfast sandwiches, or cream cheese bagels).
Aim to curb your drinking this week. Volunteer to be a designated diver and enjoy a soda while others drink. Plan activities with friends and family, not around alcohol. Or try activities like bowling or Netflix marathon without drinking. Even if you’ve had a few extra cups on New Year’s eve, if the previous week was mostly dry, you’ll feel much better on January 1.
In addition to supporting optimal metabolism, water tends to suppress appetite naturally, which means you may not be able to easily eat holiday foods that are still floating. Increasing your H2O intake also washes away excess sodium, which can help to reduce swelling and move your digestive system. If you eat less vegetables and carbs than usual, this change will be especially effective to help you feel lighter and more energetic.
In the days to come, water is your choice of drink, with a daily goal of 2-2.5 litres (about 8-10 cups). If you don’t like it, pour in fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices to enhance flavor and add antioxidants. This simple change can create a domino effect that spills over into other areas of your personal health, from better sleep, clearer skin.
Enter a healthy breakfast slot
The old adage “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” really works. A new study, published in the journal of physiology, studied 49 people (ages 21 to 60) who were asked to eat breakfast, or nearly six weeks before noon. The researchers found that breakfast consumption affects the way genes are used to help regulate blood sugar and may prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases. Other studies have shown that people who eat the biggest daily meals at breakfast are more likely to lose weight and shrink their waistlines than those who eat a big meal.
Start each day with something hearty and energetic – just the pixel eater, herb and avocado omelette, with fresh fruit on one side; Or use a small amount of frozen fruit, pea protein powder or Greek yogurt, almond paste, almond milk and fresh ginger root mix of smoothies. Think about the whole nutrient-rich diet, which provides a combination of lean protein, vegetables, good carbs and good fats. Starting your morning with this combination will allow you (mentally and physically) to get through the day.
Start cooking, or even just vegetables
Cooking for yourself is one of the best ways to master your own diet, from ingredients to preparation and food. However, it’s not realistic to get into full functional cooking mode, just start from scratch and make something you eat. This can help you achieve a better balance, even if you require takeout.
For example, the extra vegetables in the steam or oven can be cooked into Chinese or Thai dishes that are separate from others. Or add extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and Italian seasoning into green and other vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers. Put the salad on the salad before starting the pizza, lasagna or other main courses.
This method of adding your own vegetables can increase your intake of nutrients and fiber, and can help you squeeze out other high-calorie foods without making you feel like you’re on a diet. In fact, it’s not dieting – it just creates a healthier balance.
Consider your waste
There is no doubt that there are many opportunities for indulgence this week, from wh hot cocoa to popcorn movies and decadent dinners. But many of my clients say that if they can go back and relive some of the moments, they’ll skip all kinds of food because they’re not worth it.
Think about your options ahead of time this week. To rank the food on a scale of 0 to 5, 0 stands for “meh” and 5 represents “cannot without it”. If there is anything less than 4, pass. If not absolutely, say not willpower or deprivation; That makes sense.