By Yashika Cherry
The holidays bring about many guarantees: the frost of the weather will make us quiver, its presence will reunite family bonds, and the buffet list of food options will be endless. While the holiday season has proven itself to be the threshing floor for broken fitness regimens and habitual eating practices; you can take control of your seasonal taste buds and fitness discipline by gifting yourself an eating routine that focuses simply on time.
In terms of weight loss or weight management physical exercise, although a vital component of attaining a lifestyle of wellness, is not the flagship marque within the industry. The truly honorable practice is proper and disciplined eating. It is what enters the body and how often it does so that manifests health issues, the weight that we carry and even the skin that covers us. Having a strong leg in the eating race, especially during a time where carbs, fats, and sugars seem to fall in your lap, positions you to control your body's cravings and activate your internal fat burning machine all while enjoying (some) of your favorite holiday dishes.
Ditch the "Big Three" Rule: We can probably attribute this foundation to our grade school days when learning about the food pyramid only emphasized what I refer to as the "Big three power meals," breakfast, lunch and dinner. Although practicing that foundation has shown itself to be effective in giving the body its nutrients it has proven very ineffective in resulting in weight loss and increased fitness levels.
Less is more: Plan to eat 5-6 times a day; this should be an alternating small meal/snack rotation, doing this forces our metabolism to work in our favor. When food is present, the body goes to work to clear out our system to make room for more food to be received. The constant breaking down of food also assures that some of the calorie intakes are also being used as they should versus sitting in an inactive state to be transformed into fat.
Set your clock: Get a jumpstart before the noon day holiday meal is prepared by starting a light breakfast as early as 7 am. Set alarms in your mobile devices or planner of choice for 2.5-3 hour intervals that simply say: EAT. Doing this will enable your fat burning clock to be working on your behalf before you cut your family turkey.
Practice sampling: surpass the temptation of filling your plate and instead practice the art of sampling no more than two small items at a time. Digestion I very delicate and recent studies now reflect that at most the body only fully digest two different food groups at once; the other items consumed from various food groups are left to sit and aren't properly broken down taking us back to the fat calorie zone that we must try to avoid. If using your EAT clock, an example of this sampling method will be to eat green beans and turkey at noon and then eat sweet potatoes and collards around 2:30 pm.
Eat clean…often: No matter what you prepare, you can't undo a rich, wholesome diet. Find ways to modify your favorite Southern casserole and meat dishes by substituting whole wheat carbohydrates, lean white meats and a low source of fat for flavor. Activating our fat burning clocks will only work in our favor if we are giving it nutrients to thrive on each hour that we consume nutrients.
Unlearning, reprogramming and duplicating the science of how we eat is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. It is truly the gift that keeps giving.