Halloween stalks us
Like the dark shadowy figure in the horror films that we enjoy watching this time of year, the holidays are approaching and you know what’s coming. This will not be a quick death like delivered from michael Meyers. This is going to be slow. There will be a mix of pleasure along with the realization that your health is deteriorating and being surgically dismantled. This is an old horror. One where your eyes are open and you battle between pleasure and pain, and the worst part is that you let yourself get here.
The holidays are a time when many of us give up and give in to the comforts and pleasures of over endulgence in foods and succumb to the shorter and colder daylight hours. Activity turns to bundling up and remaining inside by the fireplace. It’s when you say screw it! I’m giving up and I’ll get back to my health after the new year.
What if we approached it differently this time? What if we tricked that dark figure, enjoyed the pleasures, but got stronger rather then weaker?
The truth is that the holidays usually add some fat to our bodies that we really don’t shed as we intend to after the new year. What we find is our weight gradually increases until we are buying a slightly larger pant size. Year after year we gain and lose but always with a net gain. Because you don’t have a plan.
We’re going to make that plan right now. This is your holiday survival guide.
Don’t tell yourself it’s too late or too early and let yourself be dragged down unknowingly into the cycle. You actually have an advantage during the holidays, and that is that during the winter months your metabolism actually tends to rev higher. It requires more energy to keep you warm and to digest more food. Use this to your advantage.
Get to know your body. Testing your body composition and resting metabolic rate will give you vital information to help you set better goals. This is why we put together our fitness lab. We strongly believe knowing where you are at and being able to accurately track changes in your body provides you not only important information to plan your nutrition and exercise but to also provide you with incentive and motivation. Don’t wait till January, do this now. This way when you come back in January, you can see what changes occurred, and your not battling to return to a starting point but continuing with your goals. You may be surprised that with following this flexible plan you are more than satisfied with your results.
Keep moving. Boost that elevated metabolism even more by walking regularly and doing just two to three days of weight lifting to keep your muscles working and strong. You don’t need to run a marathon even a few 10 minute walks will keep your metabolism heightened.
Know your maintenance calories and keep your average weekly caloric intake at or below this number. If you find you are above your daily caloric intake one day don’t worry about it. Bring it down the next day. You don’t gain or lose fat or muscle in a day.
Enjoy the holiday foods. You can use the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time eat the foods that you have targeted as good choices and allow for 20% to be more flexible food choices. If you use this rule as a weekly average it allows you even more flexibility on certain days.
Never feel guilty or shame yourself for experiencing food with friends and family. Use these simple flexible guidelines. Sleep well, keep moving, and maintain eating nutritiously dense food most of the time and you will do more then survive. Enjoy the holidays and all that this Time has to offer. Keep your health as a priority throughout the year and we hope to see you soon.
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