By Lutho Pasiya
From Christmas to the New Year, holidays can really weigh you down, particularly for those trying to lose weight and stick to a diet. You likely fought a good fight, but gave in and ate not one, but multiple servings of sweet treats, or dozens of sugar cookies.
Post-holidays, the absolute worst thing you can do right now is cut calories, skip meals, or go on a very low-calorie fast or detox plan in an attempt to undo the damage.
If you need help bouncing back from to many decadent treats, Slender Wonder practitioner Dr. Sharon Lion-Cachet has shared eight tips to get you back on track as you start the new year.
Don’t delay. Start today
Don’t delay and set a targeted date to start eating lean in the future.
The challenge with this is that too many false starts and “last treats” can add up to hundreds of calories, and essentially counteract what you are trying to achieve.
Finish reading this article and commit to making positive changes from now on.
The sooner you start, the sooner you will feel better.
Plan your meals
If you are willing to spend time planning a holiday or spending time with family or friends, why would you not plan what you eat?
Spending a little time doing a weekly meal plan will save you time and money and enable you to make sure you have what you need to eat according to your best intentions.
If you have to decide what to eat every night, you are likely to eat according to what you have at home, which may not be ideal.
Start each day on the right note
There is a saying “win breakfast and you win the day!” If you start the day on the right note, you are more likely to continue in the right direction.
While each person is unique, protein is always a good start to a day.
However, the opposite is also true; for example, if you start with a muffin, which is essentially cake loaded with sugar, your energy will spike, then drop and you’ll likely be eating unhealthy food all day.
Our brains often confuse dehydration and hunger.
Plus, a University of North Carolina study found that people who drank about 6½ cups of water daily ate approximately 190 fewer calories throughout the day. Additionally, your body needs water to function optimally (which includes burning calories).
When your body is working the way it should, it’s easier to find the motivation to eat, exercise and cook right.
Use a hunger scale
If you’re not eating mindfully, it can be difficult to figure out why you are eating.
For example, are you wanting to eat because you are hungry, stressed, sad or bored?
Try picturing a scale where 10 means you’re ravenously hungry and 1 means you’re not hungry at all.
Before you eat, think of the scale and consider where you are on it, then match that assessment to how much you will eat.
For example, if your hunger is at “1,” you really don’t need to eat, but perhaps need another diversion like taking a walk or responding to a few emails. Use the same scale to determine how much you should eat at that moment.
Set up your kitchen for success
Very few people can resist a delicious biscuit or chocolate if it is standing right in front of you.
After you have done your meal planning, buy what you need and nothing more. It is much easier to give yourself a single treat, like going out to a restaurant for a small dessert, than buying a packet of sweets to keep (and tempt you) at home.
Try a new recipe
It is easy to feel unmotivated to make a change to your diet if you are tired of eating the same old foods.
So, try a new recipe using healthy ingredients.
Slender Wonder has two recipe books with beautiful pictures to show you how you can make the foods allowed in the different stages of the program, work for you.
Try some new creations that are low calorie and delicious.
Keep a food diary
Those bites, licks and tastes can add up to big calories! Make this your mantra: if you bite it, write it.
You might be surprised at where you are taking in extra calories that are keeping your weight loss efforts from taking off.
Plus, a journal makes it easier to find times during the day that you can pinpoint stress eating or overeating.
You can then use the journal as a tool to devise a solution to diet-destroying eating patterns.
To make sure your children also stay healthy after the holidays, below Futurelife advises how you can clean up their diet:
Let them make their lunch
The benefits of teaching children to make their lunch are massive; it offers you an opportunity to teach healthy eating habits; it teaches them to be responsible and take ownership, and reduces food waste.
Increase their fibre intake
Fibre is important for the digestion and absorption of food, and insufficient fibre may be the reason your child is constipated.
To increase their fibre intake, you need to include a starch option that is high in dietary fibre in every meal.
Start the morning with a nutritious breakfast
Studies show that breakfast can improve mental performance, concentration, and mood.
Well-nourished children perform better academically as they have better focus, show improvement in behavior, problem-solving skills, short-term memory, and attention.