Congratulations to Cathy Shands McGee,
Patient of the Month for Encore Rehabilitation – Clanton, Alabama!
“I would like to thank Encore Rehabilitation for all that they have done for me. They are an outstanding facility and I would recommend them to any individual seeking therapy, as I have to several of my friends and family members. The staff at Encore are extremely helpful, friendly, and very knowledgeable, not to mention tons of patience with their clients, especially me. Thank you, Taylor, for your time, patience, understanding and willingness to help me get better and achieve my goals.” ~ Cathy Shands McGee
We know what you’re all thinking, keeping your diet during the most wonderful time of the year is not as easy as eating pumpkin pie. But we’ve done our research! The CDC and American Heart Association have come out with two awesome guidelines to help you keep up your diet through the holidays– And they are more simple than you think.
Let us start with a few pointers from the CDC shall we…
1. Holiday-Proof Your Plan by Planning Ahead
- If your meal is served later than normal, eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when dinner is served.
- Invited to a party? Bring a healthy dish along. Plenty of people will bring the sweets. (Be the change).
- Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. You’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat (we’ve all done it, but you’ll be sorry about it later).
2. Outsmart the Buffet
When you face a spread of delicious holiday food, make healthy choices easier:
- Make a small plate of the foods you like best. Portion control is everything.
- Start with vegetables to take the edge off your appetite.
- Eat slowly. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full.
- Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do have an alcoholic drink, have it with food.
3. Fit in Favorites
Choose the dishes you really love and can’t get any other time of year, like Aunt Edna’s pumpkin pie (which has a lot less calories than pecan pie). Slow down and savor a small serving, and make sure to count it in your meal plan.
4. Gotta Keep Moving
You’ve got a lot on your plate this time of year (literally), and physical activity can get crowded out. But being active is your secret holiday weapon; it can help make up for eating more than usual and reduce stress during this most stressful time of year. Get moving with friends and family, such as taking a walk after a holiday meal.
5. Get Your Zzz’s In
Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on sleep. Sleep loss can make it harder to control your blood sugar, and when you’re sleep deprived you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food. Aim for 7 hours per night to guard against mindless eating.
“Most of all, remember what the season is about—celebrating and connecting with the people you care about. When you focus more on the fun, it’s easier to focus less on the food.”
See that wasn’t so bad! Now lets move along to what the American Heart Association has to say…
“This guide includes great tips and recipes to help you navigate the holiday season in a healthy way. Here are some simple ways you and your family can eat healthy. Visit heart.org/healthyeating to learn more.”
• Fruits and vegetables • Whole grains • Beans and legumes • Nuts and seeds • Fish & skinless poultry, or plant-based alternatives • Fat-free and low-fat dairy products • Healthier fats and nontropical oils.
• Sodium and salt • Saturated fat • Sweets and added sugars, including sugar-sweetened beverages • Red meats — if you choose to eat red meat, select the leanest cuts.
• Trans fat and partially hydrogenated oils
- Choose wisely, even with healthier foods. Ingredients and nutrient content can vary by brand and preparation.
- Compare nutrition information on package labels and select products with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars, saturated fat and trans fat, and no partially hydrogenated oils.
- Watch your calorie intake. To maintain weight, consume only as many calories as you use up through physical activity. If you want to lose weight, consume fewer calories or burn more calories.
- Eat reasonable portions. Often this is less than you are served.
- Eat a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs.
- Prepare and eat healthier meals at home. You’ll have more control over ingredients.
- Look for the Heart-Check mark to easily identify foods that can be part of an overall healthy diet. Learn more at heartcheck.org
**You can find delicious alternative recipes for family meals from the A.H.A. here.
As a part of our business, we also encourage our patients to eat and exercise well. This article advice is a guideline to help you be able to continue a healthy diet during the stress and the never ending line of food over the holidays.
What causes our eating habits to deteriorate during the Holidays?
- Exhaustion. When people are tired, they are more likely to overeat.
- Emotional eating. Some people use food to soothe sadness, anxiety, dissatisfaction, or loss.
- Some simply use any celebration as an excuse to overindulge. Comfort and nostalgia play roles, as well.
Let’s Focus on what you can do.
Look for solutions instead of obstacles. Plan ahead; be smart and creative, so that you can enjoy the holidays without wrecking your health. Understand your strengths and weaknesses so that you can determine the triggers that cause you to skip your exercise sessions. Everyone talks about the holiday weight gain. Try not to think like that. Think about being with family and friends while eating in a healthy manner and maintaining a fitness routine.
Use your time management skills.
- You do not have to attend every party. Pick and choose the parties that are important to you.
- It is important to learn how to say no. The pressure to give in can be great; we don’t want to put a damper on the merrymaking or disappoint loved ones.
- You also do not have to cook every single dish for a dinner that you are hosting. Have each guest bring something-a side dish or a dessert.
- Adults do not need to exchange gifts-pick a name out of a hat and buy one gift.
How will you handle all the food at the parties?
- Plan in advance. Drink a couple glasses of water and have a light snack before you go to a party so that you will not be ravenous which leads to poor food selection. Hunger can undo the best intentions.
- If you’re traveling for the holidays, pick up some healthy, portable snacks at the grocery store before you leave so you’re less likely to be tempted by unhealthy options.
- Be aware. Be conscious of what you eat and how much. Avoid sources of temptation whenever you can. Try to focus in on some healthier options when you are at that office holiday party.
- Bring a veggie platter so that you know there will be something healthy to eat.
- Small portion sizes and no seconds
- Alternate your alcohol with a glass of water. Drink a lot of water before the party. The alcohol served at many social events can also destroy our resolve to eat in moderation.
- Walk around the buffet table first. Be a food snob. A large percentage of the food on the buffet table is really not that delicious.
How can I fit in fitness?
- Schedule fitness into your day. Don’t let a busy schedule get in the way of your exercise program. You need to exercise over the next few months more than ever. There is always an excuse not to exercise.
- Exercise first thing in the morning when you have more energy. It will also reduce stress, which will help you to control your food intake.
- You can break up exercise into several 10-minute exercise sessions.
- Walk at lunchtime.
- Save time by using HIIT.
- Think about which exercises you like to do and you will be more likely to do them.
- Book a trip for January or February, which will motivate you to exercise in order to look good at the beach.
- Find an exercise buddy for companionship.
Hire a Personal Trainer for accountability, varied routines, safety, result, and fun.