4 Ways to Feel Healthy and Happy Through the Holidays
A few years back, Austin Leader, Kathleen Parker, reminded us of these great facts: "The average American gains an average of 5 pounds between now and the new year. A report in the New England Journal of Medicine noted that many people never lose the weight they put on during the holidays. The study also added that the one or two pounds that you can gain over the holidays can stay with you forever."--NOT GOOD!
We know that indulging is part of the holiday tradition, but we can help counter the holiday indulgences by starting our day with a high-protein breakfast, iGniting, hydrating, and eating a low carbs/increased protein diet throughout the day. Here are some helpful tips/reminders:
1. Treat your workout time as any other obligation on the calendar. Write down your workouts on your daily calendar as if they are an appointment you cannot miss. (Another challenge is around the corner).When we exercise daily we naturally eat healthier, drink more water, have better bowel movements and are more joyful. And, because the holidays can bring the blues… exercise, reduced carbohydrates and higher protein helps with happiness! Exercise increases our happiness endorphins and relationships with others is the number one predictor of health and happiness. Uh-humm..iGnite! (if you can't make it to class, head to the Video Library)
2. Eat More Protein- Think of protein as muscle food, and in order to burn fat and add lean muscle mass, eating protein is a must. A heavy carbohydrate meal will not only not sustain us and it doesn’t feed our muscles. Eating protein at every meal and throughout the day is key.
3. Eat Less Carbohydrates- Carbohydrates are not our enemy, rather the enemy is the amount we consume at one meal/snack, as well as the time of day we consume them. Our arch-enemy is the heavy carb meal or the glass(es) of wine at night— when we are least active and become sedentary. When carbohydrates are unburned the carbohydrates convert to sugar which then turns to fat—hence the pesky abdominal fat and puffiness. Carbohydrate/Sugar Reminder: Only 1 tsp of sugar can suppress our immune system for up to 5 hours, therefore when we keep our carbohydrates/sugars low, this will make a difference in how our body fights seasonal allergies, a cold, flu and all viruses. Speaking from experience, when I keep my carbohydrates low I do not experience seasonal allergies and have much better energy. Sugar effects everything!
4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate- For cleansing and increased energy, drink your morning hot lemon water and throughout the day drink our favorite cranberry water and/or water throughout the day. For convenience, make a pitcher and because sugar increases inflammation, to help reduce inflammation, toss in 1TBSP of apple cider vinegar.