As the bustling holiday season is upon us when our to-do list is longer than usual, and we attend far more family, work and other holiday gatherings, let us look ahead to our resolutions and our personal goals of health. Year after year, the top New Year’s resolutions for millions of Canadians include getting healthier, and we know intuitively what we need to do, but more often we fail to make a plan to succeed.
The top health related resolutions include getting more exercise, eating healthier, losing weight, living life to the fullest, stop drinking so much, quitting smoking, and getting out of debt; all aspiring health promoting principles. How about this year instead of starting your New Year’s resolution on New Year’s Day, why not start it now and be already in the swing of things by the time the new year is here?
After the holidays, I hear it from numerous people year after year. They wake up miserable with a food hangover and they’re tired and exhausted with a bloated belly, upset digestion, foggy thoughts, groggy feelings, tight clothes, and they just want to sleep all day and be left alone. It’s much easier and fun to prevent weight gain and prevent illness than it is to take pounds back off and lay in bed sick trying to recoup from overindulgence.
Make a resolution today to politely decline unhealthful foods and to influence those around you for the better. Make a plan to succeed. From the onset of an invitation or you inviting guests, gently and politely inform others of your new eating plan. Most people are supportive and willing to either prepare something you will eat, or are fine with you bringing your own food if at their place.
Informing people ahead of time is a soft approach and eliminates personal offense. The key is to be open, honest, sincere, and let them know this something you want to do for yourself, and you aren’t trying to change them. Things won’t often go well if they feel condemned, judged or put down. After all, this is your goal not theirs, and you don’t want food differences to come between you and them. Allow them their choices without judgment, and make them comfortable in your presence. If they are interested in what you are eating, they will ask. Otherwise, leave food topics out of the conversations.
If you bring your own food, bring enough for others to taste test too so they can see how delicious eating healthy can be. Base your meals off of colorful fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, homegrown sprouts and nuts in their natural, unprocessed forms. Eat less refined and processed foods, sugar, meat, dairy, desserts, gluten, saturated fats, condiments, and chocolates. A smorgasbord of foods is a good recipe for digestion upset, illness and a foggy brain. Be selective, choose wisely, and choose for health.
Your stomach and digestion does well on simple, whole foods, with only a few varieties. Practice thankfulness, temperance and self-control over the holidays and every day, and you’ll slide through the holidays not only without weight gain, but maybe losing a few pounds, feeling great about yourself.