Coach Ellie's Blog
"Bermuda Triangle" of Holidays
Halloween kicks off the annual "Bermuda Triangle" of holidays. There's more temptation to eat sugary, high fat foods. Our social calendar fills parties, shopping, extra travel, and, exercise/walking begins to fade farther and farther down the priority list. Result? The hard won "pounds off" of summer exercise begin to creep back on — on average some 7-14 pounds between now and New Year's Day!
What to do?
#1: Make exercise a priority. Write your walking time into your day planner and then honor it to the best of your ability. Can't do the full 45 minutes you planned? Go for 15 minutes! Everything counts and will help keep more of the pounds off.
#2: Pay attention to quantity. If you eat just one of your grandmother's famous sugar cookies — and, savor it, of course! — you will to satisfy the "taste memory" without torpedoing your good intentions and adding unwanted pounds.
Did she give you a whole plate of cookies? Most goodies freeze very nicely so you can have one a couple times a week rather than all them at one sitting!
BTW: You might want to peruse a book called "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink, a nutrition researcher. It has some fascinating insights on how color, size and shape of plates and glasses, etc. influence our decisions on quantities of foods and on food choices. Knowledge is power!!
#3: Bring health options to the office celebration. Many offices have a veritable food-fest during the holidays. If you're trying to watch your calories, it's really tough to either forego the temptation or to find an option that is in keeping with the dietary plan you've chosen. If you want to choose fresh vegetables, you should probably be the one to bring 'em! Plan ahead to take care of your own nutritional needs.
#4: Schedule time for yourself to relax. We know that high levels of stress make it more difficult to lose weight or keep it off. Your body doesn't necessarily know whether it's "good" stress or "bad" stress, just that you're doing more things, sleeping less and your mind is going 90 miles an hour! A 10-minute break in a quiet place or, a few moments of deep breathing is not only a stress buster, but also a great tool to help you feel as if you can manage your long "to do" list and still enjoy the holiday season.
You know the outcome you want . . . to be as fit and as healthy as you can in every way on January 1st. Every positive action you take in the coming days and weeks will reveal itself in the way your body feels and also on the scales on New Year's Day. Wouldn't it be the best personal gift you can give yourself to discover that you're not the national average of 7-14 pounds heavier that day?
Happy walking! Coach Ellie