Healthy Holiday Plan

TurkeyChristmas is almost here and the season of holiday get togethers, candy at the office, more lunches and dinners out, more traveling for some and vacations and of course, more stress than normal and this typically leads to weight gain. But you can succeed in getting healthy over the holidays. As a matter of fact they call them "holi-days" not "holi-weeks" so there's only a few days where your healthy holiday action plan will be challenged.

Here's a few important things to add to your healthy holiday plan…

1. Don’t skip a meal (slows your metabolism and increase hunger/cravings)

2. Go for a "Mocktail" instead of a "Cocktail". Alchohol leads to more empty calories and weight gain so swap it for a healthier option like Club Soda with a lime or other non-caloric beverage.

3. Skip the peanut butter and cheeses. They are full of fat calories!

4. Lay off the unhealthy snacks. They're likely full of simple carbohydrates, fat and/or sugar.

Now let’s go over a few strategies that will help you get through this tempting time....

1. Seek Support!  Have healthy conversations with your family and friends. Be accountable to others and challenge them to join you in having a healthier holiday season.  People do what people do!

2. If there is a special holiday food that you will feel deprived of if you don’t have…then take one or two bites-just a taste and you will be surprised how satisfying it is.

3. Eat more of the salads and green veggies at a dinner party and make the meat a “side dish”

4. Don’t serve family meals family-style.  Keep pots and dishes away from the table where it’s all too easy to go for seconds!

5. Learn to “eyeball” the proper serving size that is right for you and stick to them when dining out or dishing up meals.

6. Eat healthy fast foods (i.e. protein based meal replacements and other healthy snacks)! Don’t leave home without them!

7. Physical activity is a good way to burn calories and it makes you feel great before going to a party, and remember to drink a shake on your way out the door!

8. Have fun and focus on the fellowship and not the food.  

9. Have a Plan in writing!

My Daily Holiday Plan


____________ Wake up

____________ Breakfast  ____________________

____________Mid Morning ____________________

____________Lunch  ____________________

____________Mid Afternoon ____________________

____________Dinner  ____________________

____________Evening  ____________________

Snacks ______________________________________


Type of exercise today___________________________

I exercised for how long? _______________

Today I feel…__________________________________

My Challenges were_____________________________

What did learn? _________________________________

My Plan for tomorrow_____________________________


SMART Goal Setting for 2014

GoalsA lot of people take time off over the holidays. If you do, secure at least a few of those precious days off to devote to yourself and your well-being. A few moments spent assessing where you are—and where you want to be—can make a big difference when the new year arrives.
 
It helps to remember the “SMART” rule for setting the bar for things you can achieve in the year ahead. Your goals should be…

S: Specific
M: Measurable
A: Attainable
R: Realistic
T: Time sensitive 
 
Say, for instance, you want better fitness for yourself—the kind that comes from regular exercise. Perhaps you’ve never been active before, but you want to make this essential habit of health part of your life. So you start SMART! Here are some examples
 
S: Specific
Instead of “I’m going to get in shape,” maybe you could say, “I am going to be able to walk a mile in 15 minutes by February 1, 2014.”
 
M: Measurable
Instead of “I’m going to walk regularly,” try something like “I am going to walk for 20 minutes, at least three days a week.”
 
A: Attainable 
Can you really smoke 500 calories on the stair machine your first day in the gym? Maybe, but if you tire out (or worse—hurt yourself) it’s all too easy to decide exercising is too hard. Start with baby steps, and build on them. (Example: I am going to walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes, 3 days a week.)
 
R: Realistic
You can tell yourself, “I’m not going to miss a workout. Ever.” But get real: Kids gets sick, bosses call emergency meetings, and tires go flat. Instead, make yourself a promise you can keep, like: “Beginning January 2, 2013, I will go on the elliptical for 30 minutes, 5 days or more per week at my local gym. I will allow up to 2 days of rest per week.”
 
T: Time sensitive
“Someday” is not a word for health goals. Set a date, and write it on your calendar. Schedule those workouts, and honor your commitment to your body. (Example: On January 2, 2014, I will sign up to join my local neighborhood fitness center)
 
Why shouldn’t 2014 be the year that you start seriously transforming your health, your attitude, and your financial security? Your new life starts when YOU say it does. Picture in your mind what your ideal life would look like. Jot down some visions for yourself in a new diary : How would you spend a typical day when your life is truly your own? Collect pictures from magazines that represent what you want for yourself, your family, and your future.
 
These exercises are more than just wishful thinking. They bring you joy and purpose, motivate your hard work, and help you make your dreams into plans.


Fall Back To Health and Fitness

IfNotNowWhenAbout this time every year, you probably start gearing up for your New Year’s resolution to lose weight and start a regular exercise routine. Then, just before tacking the new calendar to the kitchen wall, you empty your home and office of all those unhealthy snacks and goodies.

Sometimes you give them to friends and coworkers; other times, you muster up a great deal of strength and toss them in the trash. But far too often you polish off every crumb yourself—and start the new year about ten pounds heavier, your body full of leftover holiday pies and cookies.

What if you could get through the holidays and reach January 1st with a loss, instead? If you limit splurges to the holiday meal, like Thanksgiving dinner, you can keep your weight in check and reach your health goals even faster.  They call them "holidays" not "holiweeks" right?

So what about Thanksgiving? We know what the traditional turkey-day table looks like: buttery mashed potatoes, syrupy sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans with potato sticks, and a big, juicy bird. Don’t even look at the dessert table! You know what’s there: pumpkin and pecan pies, carrot cake, cookies.

FALL BACK TO HEALTH AND FITNESS

MountainbikerAre you waiting until after the big holidays to start a fitness regimen or get your eating back on track. There’s something so logical about starting fresh each new year; that’s why everyone does it, right? It’s like getting a clean slate to do it right once and for all. Besides, who starts a fitness plan in November?

You, if you’re smart!

With New Year’s Day looming, it’s often a race to the finish—finish off the chocolates, polish off the cakes and pies, devour all the snacks. And many find themselves with even more weight to lose. Here are a few compelling reasons to begin now.

You’ll be cool.
The heat of summer months can sometimes make us sluggish. And a 95-degree day is not necessarily the best time to walk a few miles, as it poses some additional dangers, especially for previously inactive people. Likewise, the cold winter months make us feel insular; the air is a little too fresh. We are often pressed for time and energy when the days are so short, especially after a full day of work. But fall—with its clear mornings and evenings, its invigorating fresh air, and its gorgeous colors—is the perfect time to make a commitment to rigorous movement.

You’ll be consistent.
It takes some time to turn actions into habits. Though information varies, a recent study showed that the average time it takes for a new practice to become habit is about 66 days (1). So it makes sense to build up that momentum now. When January 1 rolls around, you’ll already be so dedicated to your routine—and to its positive effects—that you won’t even have to think about whether you’re in the mood to work out on a cold January morning. You’ll already have a couple months of daily exercise under your belt—and off your stomach!

You’ll be creative.
Working out isn’t only about speed and mileage and reps. Sometimes it’s simply about working—out! Sweep, rake, bag leaves. Do some cool-weather gardening. Prepare beds for spring. Chop firewood. Of course, traditional workouts like biking and hiking are even better when the air is cool and the leaves are colorful! So get out there and fall for fitness. Establishing regular, healthy practices now can make sticking to them in January a breeze.

1. Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.674/abstract;jsessionid=96C09908C95A8D1B4B624FBCF4DE9867.d03t01


Will this Halloween scare you to health?

ScaryMany of us have dressed up in scary costumes for Halloween and then at the end of the night the costume comes off right?  We don't go on dressed up in costume and living like the character we were dressed up as all year long (if you do there may be other issues we should discuss during our next coaching call)!

Now STOP for a moment and "slow your roll". CHALLENGE yourself to reflect on your current health status. If your current scenario (weight, clothing size, looks, feelings, etc.) is scaring you, think about it as an elaborate costume you were wearing and think of what would happen if you simply CHOOSE to just take it off and become the person you've always believed you could be and live the life you always wanted to live?

There's 28 Days from Oct. 31 to Thanksgiving Day. Using our medically proven formula and lifestyle coaching program you can take off up to 10-20 lbs in 28 days*, you could start exercising more consistently and look like a million bucks in this year's family photos (vs. avoiding them altogether).  All you have to do is re-commit to a 28-Day Health Challenge and live the BeSlim Habits of Health!

Contact us david@ehealthcoaching.com if you're ready to make the CHANGE and challenge interested family members, friends and co-workers to join you on the journey! We will provide you with a complimentary 15-20 min. health coaching session to develop your health action plan!

* Average weight loss is 2-5 lbs for 1st two weeks and 1-2 lbs thereafter.


10 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

When we think of Halloween we think of ghosts, goblins and candy! Loads of it and it can be scarier than the goblins toting it around! For those of us with a sweet tooth, what is to become of us on Halloween night? Here's a few other helpful tips to remember when your sweet tooth is twitching…

1) DO NOT buy any Halloween candy! Or, buy candy that you do not like. It is better to give out small packets of pretzels or play-do or fruit roll ups.

2) Keep in your mind that there will always be candy, but you are choosing to improve your health right now, and candy will not help you reach your goal!

3) Make your own fudge cycles by freezing a healthy chocolate protein shake.

4) Freeze crystal light for a fruity, candy-like desert.

5) Sugar free jell-o is a great candy-like snack

6) Do not stay at home on Halloween handing out your treats. Instead, grab a bottle of water and take a nighttime walk around the neighborhood to take in all the ghoulish sights!

7) Bring healthy snacks to work to keep from being tempted by candy in the office.

8) Cut up a protein bar and put it in a baggie. Freeze it for a sweet treat later!

9) A great idea to help keep the piles of candy from going into your children’s body…Have them pick out 5 pieces of candy out of their bag and “buy” the rest of the bag from them for 10 dollars and then take them to the toy store to get a prize! Remember to throw the bags of candy away or give to a shelter!

10) Stay in touch with your Health Coach.

Remember, a great analogy is the concert pianist. If you were a child, and you wanted to be a concert pianist (primary goal) you would need to practice every day (secondary goal), and make choices that may not be your favorite (not get to play with friends, travel, lessons, miss parties, miss play dates, etc.)

But you would perform these secondary goals if it helps you to reach your primary goal. Well, we are doing the same thing. Our primary goal is to lose weight, get healthy and live an extraordinary life. Some secondary goals are…exercise daily, drink water, stay away from extra carbohydrates and starches, possibly decide not to go to some parties and do not eat Halloween candy!

We will make these secondary choices because it will help us to reach what is most important to us right now to lose weight, feel great and to achieve our goals and dreams!


Healthy Tips for Picnic Celebrations

PicnicHolidays such as Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, or any picnic holiday can cause breakdowns in our otherwise healthy Take Shape for Life eating plan. It is extremely important to be very aware that picnics can pack thousands of calories that we would not normally indulge in. So, what should you do?

1. Continue to practice your healthy eating habits on the picnic day. Do not skip meals or save calories for the “big meal”. That sets you up to overeat!

2. If going to a party or picnic, offer to bring an appetizer and side dish. This will guarantee you there will be healthy choices for you.

3. Be watchful of your portions and choose NOT to have the dessert! Instead, maybe bring a box of sugar free popsicles to share with the crowd or have a cup of coffee instead. If you're not in the weight loss phase enjoy dessert but be mindful of your portion sizes and how much exercise or activity you're doing to burn it off.

4. Make sure that you do not slack off from your daily exercise routine the day of the picnic. Try adding 10 or 15-minute brisk walks twice that day with available family members or the partygoers. Plan active activities such as crochet, bike riding, or taking a hike instead of sitting around and talking or watching TV.

5. If you are throwing the party, have lots of vegetables available, instead of chips only. Prepare lower fat dips and offer salsa. Explain to your guests in advance your determination to make this a healthier holiday celebration, and ask them to keep this in mind when preparing any dish they may be bringing.

6. Stay away from high calorie beverages such as sodas, juices, smoothies, and blended coffee drinks. There are nearly 150 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda or juice. Smoothies and coffee drinks are often 250-500 calories, excluding the whipped cream. Alcohol is packed full of calories and carbs. It can also cause you to let down your defenses and overeat or make poor food choices. All of these indulgences will kick you out of the fat burning stage (if in weight loss phase) and you’ll set yourself back 3 days on your journey to your goal weight.

7. Make sure to have a Medifast supplement before going to the picnic... ALWAYS plan ahead.

8. At the picnic choose healthy foods and stay away from the chips and bread and corn.

9. If the holiday party is at your house, send some of the left-overs home with your guests, especially the desserts!

10. Remember to eat slowly, which will help you to eat less and feel full and satisfied.

11. During holiday weekends, make your goal to maintain your weight and not to gain any!

12. Be positive. Don’t let your weight and cravings take control of you.

13. Holiday traveling, don’t forget to pack convenient snacks! Put healthy snacks and meal replacements in zip lock bags and use them to cushion around items in your suitcase. Also bring a cooler full of fresh vegetables and water.

14. Remember the reason for the season and focus on 'fellowship' and not on 'food'!

15. Habits are habit forming... People form habits but habits transform people! Let's Take Shape for Life! Let’s transform our thinking about what we eat and why we eat it. Let’s make it a habit to select healthy foods as part of our ‘prescription for life’!

Have a Happy and Healthy Spring and Summer Picnic Season!