Recovering from the Holiday Feast

The winter holiday season is over. It was accompanied by delicious foods, baked goods, cozy nights around the fire, family and friends. Now that we are back into our routine, we may feel guilty about the overindulgence and are eager to lose those holiday pounds. To do so, we must overcome a few obstacles, many of which are in our head, to achieve our goals.

Don’t get discouraged

Don’t feel guilty if you indulged during the festivities. Even if you over did it, the last few weeks won’t destroy your health or health goals. Guilt can prevent you from moving on.It is difficult to avoid temptations during the holidays, and you are not alone. So, let’s leave the past behind, and take small but steady steps to be healthier again.

Set realistic goals.

If you were sedentary during the holiday season, take it slow with getting active again. Attempting to run a marathon will only set you up for disappointment. Set some time aside for daily walks. Use the weekend to go for a hike. If you gained weight, don’t rush to lose it all in one week. One pound a week is a great start. Small achievements will encourage you to continue your new routine, and you will maintain enough energy to do so.

Count to 10.

On average, craving attacks last only about 10 minutes. So, next time you feel like grabbing into the cookie jar, take a 10 minute walk. It may not work every time, but it’s worth giving it a shot.

Avoid simple carbs.

The holidays are full of carbohydrate-rich foods, such as pies, cookies, bread and alcohol. Not only are these foods high in calories, but they also get your blood-sugar up. This is followed by a sudden rush of insulin, which in turn leads to a blood-sugar drop. And this is why after eating high-carb foods, like cake or bread, you will experience hunger after just 30 minutes or an hour. Instead, eat foods high in protein to fill you up, choose whole grain products and eat plenty of veggies.

Up your fruit and vegetable intake

You probably have already heard about the importance of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.These foods are high in vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, and help you feel full. Include these foods to your every-day diet. Add spinach to your morning omelet, mix berries and yogurt into a delicious dessert, or make a yummy smoothie with milk.

Go easy on the alcohol.

In addition to high-calorie foods, the holidays are also filled with alcoholic beverages. Now that the holiday season is over, it’s a good time to reduce your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is not only bad for your liver, but it’s also high in calories. A 12-ounce beer has 150 calories and a 4-ounce glass of wine has 85 calories. Creamy cocktails are even worse and can contain as many calories as a whole meal.

Drink water.

Avoid empty calories. Soft drinks are not only full of sugar, but also unpronounceable ingredients. Drink water or tea when you feel thirsty. Add a glass of milk to your meals. Your body will appreciate it.

For more information on healthy living contact Richland County Extension Agent Ludmila Keller at 406-433-1206 or [email protected].


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