Hello team Empower. Annie here, owner and proprietor of PowerUp Nutrition.
Excited to be sharing my thoughts with you and your community a couple times a month. I can’t believe it is already December. Life is about to get super busy for most of us and dieting and getting yourself to the gym may be falling off the top of your list of priorities.
December tends to be a quiet month for nutrition coaches. I am here to tell you that letting go of all your good habits and waiting for January to roll around to get back in hopes of undoing the damage is no different than justifying bad weekend habits by saying you will start fresh on Monday. It might feel good in the moment, but we both know it isn’t working for you and this kind of mindset will always have you unhappy with your outcome.
First, let’s be real, there is a life in the middle between being all in or all out. If December has 31 days, and we eat on average 3 meals a day, that is going to be about 93 meals. Let’s say you are a social butterfly and have 10 social events this month, now that seems like a lot when you look at your calendar and yes you are giving up some control, but 10 meals out of 93 isn’t that bad. You still control almost 90% of your intake. In my books the odds are in your favour to come out on top in January. Now the real issue is that most people see the 10 social events, feel overwhelmed by the lack of control and then just give up on the whole month. In the end the result will be a lot more damage than could have been if we can stick a routine 90% of the time.
My best advice for December:
- Prioritize good sleep when you can! Lots of late nights and parties, means less sleep. Less sleep means more sugar cravings, poor decisions around food and more excuses to skip the gym. Be mindful of keeping on top of your sleep needs.
- Keep to your routine and the habits that have been successful for you all year round. When possible, keep bringing your lunches to work. Keep showing up at the gym on the days you normally go.
- Eat protein at every meal.
- Fill half your plates with vegetables and/or fruits. Both protein and fibre rich food will keep you satiated and ensure that no matter what happens when you go out your body is still getting what it needs.
- Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go! Drinking lots of water will keep you hydrated and energized, and boost your immune system.
- Learn to say no! You don’t need to go to every single party and end up burned out December 31st. There is something blissful about quiet nights at home by the twinkling tree with a good book or catching up on Netflix. I like to chose what I say yes to, make sure it is meaningful to me with people that feed my soul and I politely say no to the rest.
- Same goes for food. You don’t need to try every single shortbread cookie your co-workers are bringing to work. Be picky about your treats. Personally, I will pass on most commercial baking, but will never say no to anything my mother-in-law bakes, I wait for her Christmas cookies all year.
- Save the treats for outside your house. If your house is full of sweets it will be really hard to resist every night. When I bake I like to share it with friends right away. If I have company over I send them home with leftovers. And if you know you have absolutely no control over Candy cane ice cream just don’t buy it and keep it around your house!
- Don’t go too long without eating. It’s easy to skip a meal when life gets frantically busy, just as you carry your water with you, carry an appropriate snack. If you show up to your Christmas social at the end of a long day starving you will most likely end up eating a lot more. Eating more often can help stabilize your blood sugar, keep your energy up and prevent you from falling face first in the chips and dips!
January first will not magically erase 2019.
Nutrition is never going to be black or white. Eat this, not that. There is room for both enjoying the holidays and feeling great about our choices and feeling good in our bodies in January. We are the sum of every choices and decisions we make, even the ones we make on the weekends or the holidays. Might as well make choices that align with our desired outcome.
We can totally do this, you are surrounded by like-minded individuals in your gym community that are working towards the same things you are.
Visit us at http://powerupnutrition.ca and follow us on Instagram @power_upnutrition .