Holiday Health Challenge (by Dr. Kelly McGuire, ND)

by Dr. Kelly McGuire, ND

Holiday season is upon us. Many of us think it is ok to just throw in the towel at this point in the year and start fresh after ringing in the New Year with massive resolutions to stay fit and be healthier! The truth is, this type of attitude is what gets us in trouble in the first place, and year after year we’re still struggling to achieve our wellness goals.

I have a challenge for you. Take charge of your health starting right now. Enter 2013 with more energy, a healthier weight, and be on your way to achieving your personal goals.

First I want you to remember this equation; 500 calories less per day x 7 days = 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat! This equation may make it easier to imagine how long it can take you to reach your goal weight.

Of course it’s never as simple as the math may suggest because other factors such as your body’s unique metabolism, thyroid issues, problems with insulin control, food allergies and of course how active a lifestyle you live all play a role in your body’s individual ability to burn fat. I challenge you to follow these suggestions during the holiday season to have you feeling healthier than ever when the ball drops on December 31st, 2012.

#1 ~Make a plan~ Each week sit down and plan out your groceries and healthy meal choices. Not sure if what you’re eating is healthy? Helpful resources for assessing your calorie and nutrient intake include; my fitness pal and Seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or a Nutritionist may be the preferred approach for those who are less DIY inclined. Your plan can also include key supplements such as B12, functional fiber and protein.

#2 ~Eat 3 meals per day including some protein~ Science shows that when we snack (even on celery) that the brain will not switch into fat burning mode without a minimum of 4 hours between meals. Eating smaller more frequent meals may be necessary initially to balance blood sugar in certain individuals but ultimately you want to adopt a plan of 3 moderate sized meals per day. Additionally, try eating until you are only 2/3 full and chewing your food well.

#3 ~Exercise more~ Exercise comes in many forms. The key is finding how you love to move and commit to moving for at least 180 minutes per week. Split it up however you want…Just do it. Already at this level? Switch up your routine or try increasing intensity. Try the Pilates at Core Link  !

#4 ~Organize and show off your fridge~ Always have healthy choices available at your gatherings. Some great ideas are; Organic Pumpkin Mini Truffles, vegetable platter with humus, edemame beans with sea salt, or kale chips. Eating delicious foods can be healthy too. Try hosting a potluck where everyone shares their favourite healthy recipes.

#5 ~Just say ‘no thanks’ to another drink~ Alcohol has more calories than equivalent protein or carbohydrates. If you choose to indulge be sure to have a full glass of water for every drink consumed. Better yet, offer to be the designated driver.

Best wishes for a holiday season filled with joy, happiness, and wellness.