It's that time of year once again. Its colder, the leaves are falling and we are slowly putting away summer clothes for more winter appropriate wear. The shorts and tank-tops are going away and the sweats and hoodies are out for the next well who knows maybe 6 months.
The average thanksgiving dinner will fill you up with an average of 3000 - 4500 Kcal in the one meal alone. And everyone - let's be honest Thanksgiving is way more than just about eating one meal. It's an entire weekend here in Canada. We get a days holiday too so let's just say at least 3 days of over eating and eating a little less out of the norm.
Now I'm not about to tell you that Turkey and all the fillings are not good for you or delicious, because well lets be honest they are. But I'm gonna give you some help and advice on how to stay healthy and happy over the holidays this coming weekend.
So I'm going to share some tips with you on how to keep the weight off, stay healthy and happy and all while still enjoying yourself over the holidays.
1. Be smart about your food choices, especially over the holidays sugar consumption can increase up to 10x your daily amount. Think before you eat a cookie, have a drink (alcohol and or loaded hot drinks), a piece of chocolate, some pumpkin pie..... It all adds up. And it adds up in great amounts. Just dinner alone stands at 3000-4500Kcal ( a large very active persons daily intake). So make smart choices and eat a real meal before you start digging into the cookie jar!
2. Eat a balanced meal. With all the family and friend events that come this weekend they all come with extra finger foods and sweets that are loaded with carbs and excesss sugars. So eat a balanced meal first. (Preferably to your metabolic type) before you jump into the sweats and drinks. AND don't forget to add in protein and healthy fats.
Then go and enjoy yourself. A key to remember is that any excess calories that you consume over prolonged time will start to add up and convert to added weight and not the weight you would want to be carrying around. Now this will not and doesn't happen with one meal but put in 3-4 days of eating more and you'll notice the scales edge up. Not always true weight but more inflammation weight.
3. Sleep, sleep, sleep, its easy to get into the habit of late nights and early starts and a busy schedule. But remember your body heals and recovers when you sleep and you need a good amount of sleep in the winter esp. over the holidays with the added stress and excitement the holidays bring. So remember you circadian cycle of around the 10;30pm to 6:30am is your guide line. Breaking this reduces your healing abilities and increases your risk of sickness. You need an average of 8 hours (yes all you less than that! that thinks you're good on less.... well you're not and now its proven sleep is the one thing you cant skip on and you CAN'T biohack this) YOU need 8 hours of good sleep - so set your alarm clock so that you get 8 hours. If you stay up later wake up later if you can. You'll get back on routine, but you need good quality sleep.
4. Drink plenty of water. Your body loves water and every ounce of you is made up of water. There are 37 thousand billion x2 - biochemical reactions per second in your body (yes you read that right) and at least 20 thousand billion of those require water. So help your body out and drink water, esp when drinking alcohol and eating extra sugar. Water is water, coke is not water, coffee is not water and sadly tea is not water. If you want to help your body give it water. We consist of about 60% water so help yourself out a little. Now yes we do get water from food and drinks but guess what? They are require biochemical reactions that? - You got it, they all require water so they take water to get water. Easy simple rule of thumb. Just drink some water. Help yourself out. It will help with digestion, elimination, sleep, mood and overall health and wellness.
5. Do something (exercise) everyday. Go to the gym, go to a fitness class or go for a walk. Its perfect to get the family outside and enjoy the great outdoors. BUT try and do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Don't sit around and just eat and watch tv and talk wth the family. Get outside. go and be active. It is one of the most beautiful times of the year with all the fall colours and changing leaves. Go pick some apples, go explore the local trails. Hit the gym, do something. Get your body moving. I could talk all day on this, but all I care about is that you move your body. Weight training yields the best results of all and most exercise. But I say anything is better than noting. So go get active for at least 30 minutes.
6. And have fun, life is too short to be truly stressing about all the small things, but I see far too many people getting run down and sick over the holidays and a few little changes can make all the difference. We on average as a society don't sleep enough, we don't consume enough water, we don't eat healthy enough and due to that we don't get the nutrients that the body requires. So make small changes. Try and change just 1 thing a day, 1% of change a day will lead to a huge change in 100 days. And what the rush. take your time, enjoy the journey and embrace the changes and challenges.
7. SO my go-to's are
- Eat healthy and treat yourself a little,
- Get plenty of sleep and some exercise everyday,
- Drink plenty of water
- And consider the amount of sugar you are eating.
- And enjoy yourself- don't restrict what you do, just be aware
Happy holidays have an amazing thanksgiving to you all. Be safe have fun and share the love.