Can you feel it in the air? The crisp feeling of fall weather breezing past your face. Perhaps a faint smell of some cookouts for Sunday Night Football? We are right around the corner to perhaps one of my favorite times of year. The upcoming days have numerous activities, family time, and joy that many of us look forward to. All of these activities, for the most part, have a large variety of food accompanied with them. With health and weight gain always being on the mind of people throughout the year, the next few months can spell disaster for some individuals trying to watch their weight. Because of this, I always like to take some time to give a few friendly reminders to individuals trying to make healthier decisions around the holidays.
One of the BIGGEST things that I want you to take away from this article is that the amount of calories you consume will dictate everything. If you are eating an appropriate amount of calories to maintain your body weight, even if you eat “junk” food, you will not gain weight. For some, this may be news for you. It might even be great news! Before you go binge on a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, there is a catch. Many of these junk foods are high in calories, and low in satiation (ability to keep you feeling full.) This is why many junk foods cause people to gain weight. Not because there is something special in them that makes you gain weight, but rather, they are easy to overeat, thus increasing the overall calories in your diet. This means that your pumpkin pie, famous brownies, or cheesy potatoes you are having CAN fit into your diet. You just need to remind yourself that these are higher in calories and won’t keep you as full, when compared to options like vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.
The other thing I wanted to touch on is family pressure. Being someone who is very health conscious, sometimes people, or even my family, are shocked when I turn down a piece of pie at dinner, or refuse to have seconds when they ask. You may even get someone making fun of you for “watching your weight.” It is very hard to get peer pressured into eating some of these things that you might not want to. Remember, that your family and friends might not have the same health and wellness goals as you. This pressure could be a way for them to not feel as bad themselves, but also show their love for you. Food is a way to show compassion for many. Unfortunately, this same compassion can lead you to a life of poor and compromised health.
At the end of the day, don’t stress too much about the holidays. Enjoy the time, food, and friends, and make as many memories as possible. DO remember your goals, why you have them, and try your best to stick with them. Slip ups will happen, and that is okay.
For more information on inclusive fitness, please contact Logan Anderson, owner of All Strong Fitness LLC. He can be reached at by phone: (563)-210-3701, email:[email protected], or website:allstrongfitness.org.