Plan Now & Avoid Diets Later
Plan Now & Avoid Diets Later

Plan Now & Avoid Diets Later

Dieting sucks. Make better choices daily and avoid the diet later. Something to think about this holiday season.

The holiday season is supposed to be a time of love, joy, and happiness. However, many people dread the holidays with gift shopping, getting into debt, avoiding certain relatives, etc. Now with the new Covid variant we have a lot of stress this season.  Holidays are a red flag for stress for many of us and it may even be worse for many this year.  In response to these negative emotions, we reach for feel-good food like fat and sugar.

Stop recycling resolutions

Everyone’s stressors might vary but gaining unwanted pounds is a common theme. The holiday food environment can be daunting if you are already fighting a bit of excess weight.  Holiday time is prime time for emotional eating and that’s why New Year’s Resolutions have become a diet thing. In fact, we just recycle this same resolution every year and every year most of us fail.  So how about we avoid the January diet misery and instill some good habits now.

Let’s start with the little things instead

I don’t do resolutions anymore.  It’s a recipe for failure.  In fact, there are so many reasons that resolutions fail.  As a certified personal trainer my experience has taught me they are usually too hard and unrealistic. Change is daunting and resolutions create a pressure to hurry up and do it.

According to Psychology Today, creating vague negative objectives is a recipe for failure.  It is better to be clear, specific, and doable. In order to clarify your goals as yourself, why do you want these goals?  What would achieving them feel like?  Furthermore, create tasks that align with your overall goal. 

Avoid the negative

First thing, stop focusing on the negative and worry about what you can’t eat and should avoid; instead, look at what you can add. While you decide what you need to add, keep in mind that implementing minor changes over time is more effective than turning your lifestyle upside down. Initially, for example, you can just start with portion control. Worry more about how much you eat, instead of what you eat.

Make habits easy to implement

Don’t view this as just a holiday thing; focus on little things you will instill over the long run. Small goals are attainable, reinforce your self-esteem, and set you up for success when reaching those bigger goals. Start with the simplest, easiest to reach goals. 

For example, perhaps you know you need more water. To start, add in one or two glasses of water before you eat dinner. Multiple studies have shown that drinking water before meals leads to fewer calories, which will lead to weight loss. Once that one glass of water becomes a habit, add another one into your day and continue working on small positive changes little by little.

5 simple tips for success

1. Add a probiotic yogurt to you daily diet. Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria that may help reduce the frequency of minor digestion issues such as gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, and gut health while improving immune function. Plain Greek yogurt is natural and contains the most probiotic benefits. Add fruit for flavor and added nutrients.

2.  Slow down your eating. Your body needs time to digest the food and your stomach/hormones to tell your brain you are full. Studies have confirmed you should aim to eat each meal 20 minutes or longer. Eating slower will reduce the number of calories you consume at each meal. Chew thoroughly, put your fork down after each mouthful and enjoy your food.

3. Avoid excess sodium. Sodium does not affect everyone in the same way, and the effects are more substantial in people with high blood pressure and can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Excess sodium causes the body to hold excess fluid and creates unhealthy amounts of pressure within the body. The problem is salt is in every processed food out there. The easiest way to lower sodium intake is to take the saltshaker off the table and eat fresh, whole natural foods.

4. Drink more water. Water is the most critical nutrient that should be consumed daily. We rarely get enough, and dehydration is necessary for mental focus, healthy metabolism, skin, and cellular function and positively affects mood. If you want more flavor to your water, add lemon, lime, or infuse your water with any fruit of your choice.  Start slowly, and the goal is to drink 50% of your body weight in ounces; for example, a 150-pound woman should shoot for seventy-five ounces of water each day. 

5. Consider taking vitamins and supplements. Despite our efforts to optimize our eating habits for most people, it is far from perfect. We may not be getting all the nutrients we need, and even if we do, it does not mean that our body absorbs everything the way it should. As the body ages, our ability to absorb nutrients drops off.

Adults over 50 have higher needs for specific nutrients. I always suggest covering your bases, you should take a high-quality multi-vitamin, vitamin C, Omega- 3 and probiotics. Most adults also need additional D3, calcium, and magnesium. Before you add supplements, you should speak to a professional.

Diets Suck!

Don’t set yourself up to for dieting later.  Rather, start with small goals that are good for you in the long run. And stay away from negative language like, “I can’t have sugar anymore”. Instead of giving up all sweets, choose smaller portions at functions. 

Focus on the positive

When setting your goals focus on positive language. For example, “I drank all my water today.”  No matter what the achievement is, celebrate it. One win can make for a better day. Furthermore, keep in mind what works and adjust further goals so that you can be more successful. 

Finally, don’t fixate on one big goal; this just leads to negative thinking. Furthermore, it also leads to failure.

Keep in mind, will it be easy? Probably not but breaking that big goal into small wins makes you feel good more often. In fact, enjoy the process.

Setting unique smaller goals should remove the stress of one big fat goal.  More often than not, we are all guilty of setting big goals that we fail to meet.

Enjoy your holiday season, and don’t set yourself up for failed new year’s resolutions.


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