Here we are right in front of the holiday season that seems like it never ends starting in just a few days with Halloween and ending with a day of wings, beer and New Year’s Day football or better yet a hangover. The next thing you know you're digging through to the back of your closet for the scale to assess the damage. After staring down at the scale for a few minutes you slowly step on. Ouch that hurt! Yep, it's ugly.
Do people really gain weight over the holidays? Depending on where you look there are some alarming “statistics” about the average American’s holiday-season weight gain. I’ve seen reports of everything from 3 to 7 lbs. and over the years my friends report as much as 10 - 15 pounds. I think you will agree it's not a good thing.
How about you start now with a preseason plan to include at the very minimum not gaining weight and at best losing the 10 - 20 lbs. you've already gained during this year before New Year's Day?
Start with ditching those crazy diets. You know the ones. These diets will make you crazy, everyone around you and you'll just gain the weight back. You know you will, you always do. This is what I call the cycle of weight loss abuse. You abuse your body and your mental health by adding failure to the mix.
Make commitment to making #OneSimpleChange each week starting now then committing to it. Not an "I'll give it TRY," but an "I'm ALL IN" type of commitment. Commit to feeling good about the change you are making or even the one you are thinking about making. Begin to eat consciously. Be aware of the choice you are making. Become an informed eater. Commit to going to bed each night knowing you have done your very best. Reward a job well done, feel good when you go to bed at night. No matter how the day goes, the good news is when you wake up you get to start over again with unlimited possibilities.
Then stay FOCUSED like a laser pointer towards your goal. You can do it, if not by yourself then get a buddy, better yet get a group of friends who all want to commit to the mission of inspiring each other to stay on the path.
Ok let's get started in the right direction with a few One Simple Change strategies.
Eat real food
Food that comes in a can, bag, box or the freezer is known as processed. This is because this food group comes from a manufacturing processing plant. These foods contain the most chemicals, toxins, additives, sugars and fats than any other food group. This food group is also the most dangerous and disease promoting products. Pomona College in California published a study in Food & Nutrition Research, found eating processed foods decreased the rate of diet-induced thermogenesis—the number of calories you burn when eating and digesting—by nearly 50% compared to the meal made with whole foods. In other words, slows your metabolism causing weight gain. Keep your focus on eating as much food as close to nature as possible. If you are unclear where to find the foods at the supermarket, shop the perimeter and stay away from the foods in the center of the store. The USDA is a good source of education and Juice Plus+ Transform30 for disease prevention education.
Take a walk
According to WebMD taking a brisk walk on a regular basis reduces your risk of diabetes and cuts your risk of heart disease by more than a third. A new study shows even moderately intense physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Walking just five minutes per hour during every work day would help you burn approximately 33,000 additional calories per year. Studies show even if you don't change your diet, the change in walking habit would equate to a loss of body weight of 9.4 pounds at the end of the year.
Go to bed
Getting enough shut-eye can keep your body from storing fat, scientists at Laval University in Quebec note. Night owls who log fewer than six hours of sleep are 35 percent more likely to gain weight — on average, 11 pounds over six years — than those who get seven to eight. “Sleep deprivation increases cravings for sweets and starches,” says James Gangwisch, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “It also causes your body to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to belly fat.”
Have a tall drink of water
Researchers at Loma Linda University in California found that people who drank at least five glasses of water each day were less likely to die from a heart attack than those who drank two or fewer glasses per day. In contrast, people who drank a lot of other fluids were more likely to die from heart attack than those who drank less, with high levels of non-water drinking in women associated with a more than twofold increased risk of death. Low water intake has also been linked to increase risk of diabetes, cancer and weight gain.
Breathe away the weight
Inhale, exhale and then step on the scale. Women who took a weekly meditation class shed about a pound a week, say scientists from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. “People often eat when they're stressed and sleepwalk through an entire meal,” study author Brian Shelley, M.D., explains. When you are stressed you tend to hold your breath and breathe shallow depleting your body of the much needed oxygen. Take a few seconds throughout the day take 10 deep breaths. Meditating before and during meals helped the dieters eat less and enjoy their dishes more.
Take a whole food supplement
Vitamin and mineral supplements can be costly, but taking them often makes us feel like we are doing the right thing for our health. Unfortunately, a number of research studies--including the extensive Iowa Women's Healthy Study--indicate that supplements are not always beneficial. Worse yet, supplementing with certain vitamins and minerals may cause harm. That's why I recommend the Juice Plus+ whole food supplement, with 32 medical scientific studies behind it I feel confident this is a good choice for disease prevention.
Your partner in health,
Certified Health Coach