The kick off to the holiday season is here. The Halloween candy is gone, and now we face the daunting task of managing avoidance of mass consumption at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The time of year between Halloween and New Year’s is prime time for weight gain, without realizing it. Mindless eating is one of the biggest penalties committed during this time of year. To keep yourself moving toward the goal line of living a healthy and fit lifestyle, incorporate the following eating strategies into your nutrition playbook.
Follow a Game Plan
As you run routes throughout your day, it is easy to fumble your healthy eating habits by eating something here or there without realizing how many total calories you are consuming each day. When you are super busy your first play from scrimmage, when you’re hungry and tired is to start putting whatever is around the office or pantry into your mouth. The way you avoid getting yourself into this pattern of unconscious eating is to set up a game plan that is easy to execute every day of every week.
The first play of the game, is to figure out how many total calories you need to consumer on a daily basis to either maintain or lose weight. Divide your total number of calories into three meals and one or two small snacks. A sample game plan to get you started on the road to victory includes:
· Breakfast: Yogurt and Oatmeal
· Snack: Your Favorite Fruits
· Lunch: A Mix of Whole Grains, Lean Proteins and the Greenest Vegetables Possible
· Snack: High Protein-Based Snack like Almonds
· Healthy Dinner: Whole Grains, Lean Proteins, Heart Healthy Fats and Vegetables
There is no quick fix. Don’t get caught up in fad diets. Keep what you eat as simple as possible.
Review The Game Film
It’s important to practice healthy eating habits on a regular basis, but especially during this time of year. The key is to keep it as simple as possible. The best way to pinpoint your eating habits and identify where you might be committing penalties is to create a food journal. Over the course of a week, write down all of the calories you consume (food and beverages) to get a good picture of what types of foods you typically eat and how many meals/snacks you consume on a daily basis. You may be surprised at what you learn. We tend to think we eat better than we actually do. Once you review the game film, you’ll be able to diagnose additional plays for your next opponent.
Score the Winning Touchdown
Portion control and eating in moderation are star players when it comes to high scores in mindless eating avoidance. To make sure you are eating proper portions use small storage containers and prepare one serving size of your snack or meal items for each one. This portioning strategy eliminates the need to worry about eating too much because when you’ve finished the food in your container you know that you just consumed one serving size. Depending on your schedule, you can prepare and portion out your meals for the week during the weekend or do it on a daily basis during the evening or morning. Just figure out what works for you and stick with it. Proper planning prevents poor performance.
When it comes to managing the tendency of overeating at holiday parties and dinners don’t be afraid to bring your healthy eating game plan with you. Instead of sampling a little of everything on the buffet table or serving platters, look through the menu, pick out the healthy options, and build your own meal based on the healthy foods that are available. It also is a good idea to eat something healthy and light prior to the party to curb your appetite and reduce the risk of eating everything in sight at the event. Eating a healthy meal before you go to a party is the best defense against unconscious eating.
By keeping your head in the game, you are setting yourself in motion to score the game winning touchdown beginning 2014 as fit as possible keeping New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight on the sidelines.
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