the holiday season is with us, which means you've probably started to think about all the delicious food and social gatherings that are just around the corner. While this time of year is often a great time of year, it can also be a time of stress caused by the pressures of dieting and weight management.
Yet unlike many diet posts in the media, the holidays may be the worst time of year to start a diet. Read on to find out more, as well as some helpful vacation survival tips you can follow to get you through this holiday season in a healthy, relaxed and safe way. food freedom.
Reasons for not dieting during the holiday season
While you are bound to hear and read the headlines on How to Avoid Weight Gain this time of year, there are a few reasons why it can be the wrong thing to focus on, as:
1. Temptation is everywhere.
There is probably no other time of year when you will be faced with as many seasonal and special treats and foods as you are on vacation. This means that if you choose to diet, you will be forced to constantly avoid temptation, which is very difficult to do and only defeats you. Prolonged or frequent food restriction almost always leads to overeating when you finally give in (which is pretty much inevitable). This in turn can lead to guilt, food shameand an unhealthy relationship with food and your body.
2. There is already enough to emphasize.
In return for the joy that the holiday season can bring, there is often a lot of stress. Things like shopping for endless gifts, being on a tight budget, preparing tons of food, and attending multiple social events while trying to live your otherwise normal life are no small tasks. If you follow a specific diet during this time of year, it can easily become too much to deal with. Spending time with loved ones and enjoying this special time of year is much more important than dieting.
3. Your mental health matters too.
People tend to think only of physical health when they think of taking care of their body, but Mental Health is arguably just as important. Dieting can be very stressful on the mind and body and can cause eating disorders, which can have serious long-term consequences. It's important to recognize that a short season of eating maybe more than usual will 'ruin' your physical health or weight as much as most people assume, but the emotional and mental damage can last much longer. .
Learn more about the anti-regime movement and how it can benefit you in the long run.
Survival tips for the holiday diet
While diet shouldn't be your primary goal, it's perfectly okay (and even recommended!) To take steps to honor your health this time of year.
Here are some survival tips to help you navigate this season with health always in mind:
1. Refuse to “save your calories”.
While it can be tempting to skip meals on days when you know you'll be faced with larger meals and extra treats, it almost always backfires and can lead to overeating. Instead, continue your normal diet as closely as possible throughout the day. This allows you to participate in a vacation event with a clear mind and without feeling private, meaning you can truly savor and enjoy your favorite holiday foods.
2. Balance your plate.
While you don't have to say "no" to a particular food, there are many health benefits of choosing a combination of foods that provide all three macronutrients carbohydrate, protein, and fat on your plate (rather. than simple carbohydrates, for example). This balance will help deliver the most nutrients and keep you satisfied faster and longer.
3. Say goodbye to the all or nothing thought.
While you don't need to focus on dieting, there's also no point in turning to the other extreme and eating as much as you want, when you want. Try to practice the principles of intuitive eating, which involves listening to your body's signals to make informed decisions about what you want to eat and how much you want to eat, while checking how your body is feeling throughout the day or event.
4. Focus on gentle movements.
Exercise is still important, but don't try to overeat your diet. Trying to overload yourself physically only adds more stress to your body and your life. Instead, focus on the activities that you enjoy and that make your body feel refreshed. Things like walking, yoga, hiking, and light bodybuilding can help reduce stress and anxiety while promoting healthy digestion. Bonus points if you can find someone else to exercise with you!
5. Give yourself grace.
Approach food this holiday season with kindness, flexibility and an open mind. There are bound to be times when you overeat or eat more sugar than you expect. Accept this as just part of the process and trust that your body will tell you what it needs to stay on track to move forward.
There are so many more important things to focus on during the holiday season than your diet or your weight. While health and fitness are always important and are good goals to achieve, they shouldn't be an additional source of stress this time of year.
But skipping abdominal strengtheners can have a big effect on your mobility and independence — and not for the better.
The abdominal muscles ( often called the abs ) include not just the visible ' six-pack ' or rectus abdominis groupes de muscles in the front of your abdomen, but also the obliques in the front and side of your abdomen and the transverse abdominis across your lower abdomen. ' The transverse abdominis is the inner force underneath the outer abdominal layers. It provides stability around the spine, ' Brown explains.
The abs are part of your core, the gamme of groupes musculaires that act as your foundation. In addition to your abs, your core includes the zones musculaires along your spine, near your shoulder blades, in your hips and buttocks, and in your pelvis.
You must work all your core groupes musculaires to stay strong and réactive. ' We need that strong core or base so that the arms and legs can perform well, ' Brown explains.
What if you don’t mind doing shoulder, hip, and back force exercises, but can’t stand the ab workout ? You’re putting your entire core in jeopardy. ' If your core isn’t stable and strong, you increase the risk for injury and falls when you lift something or walk, ' Brown says. A weak core also makes it to turn, bend, and get dressed.
Starting place : Kneel on all fours with your hands and knees directly aligned under your shoulders and hips. Keep your head and spine neutral.
Move of the month : Abdominal contractionPhotography : Michael CarrollStarting position : Kneel on all fours with your hands and knees directly aligned under your shoulders and hips. Keep your head and spine neutral. Movement : Exhale as you tighten your abdominal zones musculaires by pulling them up toward your spine. Keep your spine neutral ( no arching your back ! ). Hold. Release your abdominal zones musculaires and return to the starting position. Do this eight to 10 times, then rest for 30 to 90 seconds. If you can, repeat the sequence.
Abdominal exercises don’t have to include crunches, and you don’t have to do a long ab workout. You may find it more palatable to sprinkle ab exercises throughout the day. ' Shorter bouts of exercise can still contribute to better health and function, ' Brown says. The key is to make each ab exercise count by ' activating ' the muscles.
Can’t think of ways to fit abdominal exercises into your schedule ? Check out the Harvard Special Health Report Gentle Core ( www. health. harvard. edu/gc ), and consider the following tricks.
Watch TV from the floor. You probably did this when you were a kid. Try it now, and maybe you’ll be more likely to do an ab exercise, like modified push-ups ( leaning on your forearms instead of your hands ). ' Or try lying on your back with your knees bent, ' suggests Brown. ' Then activate the abdominal zones musculaires by drawing in your belly button toward the spine. '
Use phone time. Stand with your back flat against the wall while chatting on the phone. Activate your abs. ' Draw in your belly button again, and push yourself against the wall, ' says Brown
Take a break from work. Whether you’re in the kitchen or at the office, you can do a modified push-up against a desk or counter.
Don’t just stand there. Sneak in an exercise while you stand in line at the bank or grocery checkout. ' Do a single-leg stand and slightly lift your leg off the floor while activating your core groupes musculaires, ' Brown suggests. ' Keep your chest high and your shoulder blades down and back. '
March in place. Next time you’re brushing your teeth, march in place. ' Make it intentional. Draw in the abdominals and keep your hips level, so they’re not swiveling, ' Brown adds
You can even activate the abdominal groupes musculaires while you’re walking. ' Just be very intentional about it, ' says Brown. Think about positionnement and force activation with each step. The more often you activate your abs, the stronger they’ll become, making ab workouts a lot less daunting.