Now that the holiday season is over, we are making our way into the new-year! Here's to getting back into the swing of things! Maybe you have new years resolutions, maybe you do not. Either way, there is no better time than now to reassess, reevaluate, and refocus your energy on health.
The reality of it is, many of us have an idea of what is the healthier option, but most of us struggle with implementation and consistency. It’s human. This got me to thinking. What are some simple, achievable, ways we can transition from holiday mode into health mode without tons of effort, equipment, and extremes?
And honestly it came to me pretty simply.
1. Eliminate alcohol. Throughout the time span from Thanksgiving through New Years chances are your consumption of alcohol increased a bit from normal. Between the holiday parties, last minute get-togethers, and celebratatory meals, at least in American culture, alcohol tends to be abundant at these events. Alcohol is not inherently bad, however just like with anything, when not consumed in moderation it is not good. One of the reasons I recommend eliminating it, at least temporarily to aid in shedding some pounds is because alcohol is 7 calories per gram, second to fat when it comes to caloric value. Therefore, when we consume alcohol we are increasing our overall caloric intake if we are not making adjustments elsewhere, leaving us in a surplus. Not only this, but chances are when we have one drink, we are likely to have more than one. Alcohol also impairs our judgment so when we drink, we are more likely to make food choices that aren’t so great.
2. Drink more water. Water is an essential nutrient. It is key for cellular functions and can help us feel satiated as well. Have you ever heard the old saying if your hungry, drink water first? I will admit, I do not always do this. However, when I am consciously choosing to drink more water throughout the day I can feel a difference in my energy levels as well as my functioning.
3. Get more sleep. Yes aim for eight, eight hours a night that is. Having a solid sleep routine keeps our hormones, especially ghrelin and leptin in balance. These are the hormones that tell us we are hungry and we are full. If we start messing with our sleep, we can start messing with our hormones, which can then mess with our body composition. Besides, chances are if you are staying up way too late, you are probably snacking along the way and it might not be on carrots and apples ;) Not too mention, when we are well rested, our body and our mind has an opportunity to recover and therefore be more productive.
4. Get on the workout wagon. Notice I didn’t say gym, I said workout. You don’t have to belong to a gym to workout. The reality of it is we feel better when we are on a workout routine. And exercise not for aesthetic reasons but for health.
5. Practice intentional eating. Now that the holidays have passed and we have indulged a bit ( I hope you did) now lets make a transition into intentional eating. Eating with a purpose. Make it practice to literally thinking about what, why and when you are choosing to eat something. This takes effort. But effort is worth it.
Notice how all of these simple steps are DOABLE! You don't need to go out and buy anything. You can start now by making a choice and then acting on it.
Even if you choose to implement one or two of these practices, you will start to feel better! My call to action for you: choose at least two of these and implement them for the next two weeks!
Here's to a great start to 2018!