3 Easy Strategies to Staying Healthy During the Holidays

As we all roll into the holiday season, there’s not a better time to reevaluate your health goals and find ways for staying healthy during the holidays.

 

cute holiday cookies and sweets
It can be hard to focus on staying healthy during the holidays

This time of year, most people will want to wait until the new year to start focusing on getting healthy and losing weight. But it is AMAZING how much progress you can make during this time when you decide that the holidays will ALWAYS happen so you might as well learn to stay healthy during the holidays!

I completely understand wanting to be fully present during the holiday season and not have to think about your food choices, but this is the perfect time to really step into your power.

How many times have you thought that since the new year is around the corner, you might as well hold off on your goals until January?

You think that you might as well eat all the “fun foods” now because you SWEAR you won’t eat them again next year and that this time it will be different?

If this sounds like you, trust me I’ve been there too and this back-and-forth diet cycling is not a fun place to live in.

If you’re ready to level up and get out of the cycle where you go from one extreme of being strict and rigid to the other extreme where you “revenge eat”, let’s dive in. 

1. Working on your mindset during the holidays

Feeling like you have to completely restrict the foods you binge on simply because it’s there takes some habit and behavior changes.

It’s not that you lack willpower. It’s because, for YEARS, you’ve seen these foods as either “good” or “bad.”

I completely agree that some foods are not good for you and we really should not be eating them on a consistent basis, but cultivating this mindset where you believe: If I eat ONE, I must eat ALL of them because “I messed up” is the first thing we need to unpack. 

Here is how you do this:

You need to give yourself permission to eat whatever the heck you want because YOU are in control. And because you are in control, you get to decide what you want to eat.

Try this exercise:

Next time you have something you consider “bad,” instead of beating yourself up over it, take the time to REALLY taste it. Ask yourself if you really love the taste or are you eating it because of your EMOTIONS?

Is the decision you are making to eat this coming from something physical or is it more in your head?

This helps you do 2 things:

  1. Distinguish if you actually love the food or not
  2. Uncover a subconscious belief about yourself that you now get to work on! Fun, right?

2. Maintain a good exercise routine 

cute holiday cookies and sweets
Maintaining an exercise routine is a very effective way to help you stay healthy during the holidays

This is important when trying to stay healthy during the holiday season because when everything around you feels out of routine, maintaining a part of your routine that helps you FEEL good is going to help you stay consistent.

Exercising or getting any sort of movement in (walking totally counts!) is going to help you feel good. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones,like adrenaline and cortisol while stimulating the production of happy hormones like dopamine.

I really believe that when you are in a healthy place in your mind, you do good things for your body.

When you feel good physically by maintaining an exercise routine, or even starting one during this time where stress levels may increase, you are more likely to make choices that align with your long term goals.

So stick with it and see how much better you feel that you decided to maintain a part of your routine that helps keep you grounded and in alignment with yourself and body.

3. Eat your fiber, protein and healthy fats to stay healthy during the holidays

I know, I know. But truly, this is going to help you feel SO good. A new study shows that eating this way helps to balance hormones to help make weight loss more effective. 

Let me free you for a second.

You don’t need to diet, you don’t need to eat less food, and you definitely don’t need to count calories to lose weight.

Instead, shift your focus to eating BETTER quality foods. When you do this, you can eat MORE food and feel satisfied which helps you stay consistent. Who wants to feel hungry all the time? Not me! 

Tip: Make a grocery list every week of foods that fall into these categories (protein, healthy fats, and fiber) and aim to have this combination for most of your meals. 

This helps you visually see how you can combine meals that are balanced and filling.

If you need some ideas, this blog post can help!

This way of balancing your meals helps you curb cravings and it helps you stay full and energized. Clients have told me that by eating this way, they don’t even FEEL the need to take a walk to their kitchen “looking for something satisfying.” 

If you are looking for customized support and guidance from me, check out my services here!

 

holiday season meal with soup f
Staying healthy during the holidays starts doesn’t mean you need to cut out any food

Here’s the deal, you have 3 whole months left this year. While that may not seem like a long time, you can make SO much progress in the next few months IF you decide to show up for yourself and take bold action!

You still have time to accomplish or make tremendous progress. Stay healthy during the holidays and show up for yourself.

Xx Ayat

 

Weight loss dietitian sitting on kitchen counter drinking water

How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Month? A Healthy Weight Loss Plan 

I’m sure you’ve seen those magazines that feature celebrity stories of rapid weight loss and the step-by-step meal plan on “how to lose 10 pounds in 10 days.”

Yeah, those don’t work (as I’m sure you know).

Instead of asking yourself “how fast can I drop these 20 pounds?” I want you to change the question to:

“What changes do I need to make daily that will help me lose the weight safely and actually keep that weight off?”

 

Weight loss dietitian cutting an apple
Weight loss that lasts does not have to feel impossible

So let’s get right in to it!

How much weight can you lose in a month ?

A good rule of thumb is to drop 0.5-2 pounds per week.

But know that there WILL be weeks where you don’t drop any weight AND there will be weeks where the scale spikes a little – and that is NORMAL!

In order to lose 1 pound of fat, you must expend or burn off about 3,500 more calories than you eat each week.

This requires you to drop your current energy intake by 500 calories per day.

Before you panic, there are ways to reduce your intake by 500 calories without feeling hungry or even needing to count calories.

Remember, the slower the weight loss, the more likely you will keep it off.

Woman stepping on a scale to see weight loss

How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Month?

A healthy rate of weight loss is different from the maximum amount of weight you can lose in one month, as rapid weight loss isn’t always sustainable long term.

Focus on ADDING non-starchy veggies in most of your meals

Non-starchy veggies are satiating and they fill you up with more volume and fewer calories. 

Examples of non-starchy vegetables include leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and asparagus.

Fill half of your plate (or more if you want) with non-starchy vegetables, like salads or sautéed veggies.

Make sure there is protein at all of your meals and snacks

Including protein at every meal helps keep you full and satisfied for longer periods of time!

Protein is also important during weight loss because it preserves muscle mass during periods of caloric restriction.

Examples include grilled chicken, turkey, fish, shrimp, other seafood, eggs, tofu, and seitan.

Aim to fill one-fourth of your plate with protein-rich foods.

Swap some of your carbs to fiber-rich carbs 

Fiber is found in many different kinds of food but is especially abundant in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Eating more fiber is one of the most freeing ways to lose weight because you can be generous with your portions!

Additionally, they are loaded with nutrients giving your body the nutrition it needs to function properly while helping you lose weight without the restriction that often comes with dieting.

Fiber-rich foods include whole-grain spaghetti, lentils, beans, and peas.

Aim to fill ¼ of your plate with fiber-rich carbs.

Make time for regular movement and exercise

You need to get that movement in, sister!

Aim for at least 20 minutes a day and bonus points if you go outside to get that movement in.

My favorite underrated form of movement is walking. Don’t overcomplicate it because that’s when the excuses start coming up 🙂

Finally, allow flexibility into your meals for long term weight loss

It is so important if you are looking for long term weight loss that you allow flexibility into your day. The more rigid and strict you are with your diet, the less likely you will actually stick to it.

When you eat more fiber and protein during your meals, it helps to balance hormones which in turn leads to less cravings and fewer mindless snacking.

Filling your meals with nutritious foods ensures you are getting the nutrients your body needs to function properly and curb cravings because many times cravings are your body’s way of telling you to 1. Eat more food or 2. Eat more nutritious foods.

Bottom line, you do not want to lose weight rapidly and the goal is never to lose weight through restriction and strict dieting.

You really want to focus on losing weight in a HEALTHY way that improves your health, energy, mood and life.

My clients love how simple but effective this method is of being able to eat more food and still be in a calorie deficit without counting calories.

Send me a message on Instagram and let me know if this was helpful for you and which step you need to focus on!

 

Time Management Tips To Prioritize What’s Important

Have you heard of time batching as a time management tool?

 

If not, you NEED to know ASAP!

 

Time batching is one of the best things I have ever done for my health, business, myself and my kids.

 

For most of us moms, it can be a struggle to effectively manage our time to get the important things done. Unfortunately, this leads to inconsistency, hence, no progress made.

 

With the constant distractions and interruptions from others and technology, finding even just a few minutes at a time to concentrate can feel like a struggle.

 

Back in the day, when I first became a mom, I was a slave to time. I used to wake up without a plan and never got anything done.

 

I mean I would get the easy stuff done, you know the comfortable stuff, like empty the dishwasher and make myself a third cup of coffee because I thought that’s what I needed to be more efficient, right?

WRONG!

 

That’s when I discovered time batching.

This technique has changed the way I get things done.

 

Every night before going to bed, I would write down the top 3 priorities that I need to get done to move the needle in the areas of my life that I value and want to improve on. 

 

 And then, I would find batches of time where I know I can get things done with few distractions – for example, after the kids have had breakfast they can get some screen time while mama focuses and gets some work done.

 

This is a very easy time-management hack that takes full advantage of your CONCENTRATION by doing a lot of the same things together at the same time.

Here is an example of what my days look like when I batch my time:

Wake up – 9:00 AM coffee, feed kids breakfast, get myself ready for the day

9:00 – 9:30 AM clean house (whatever I can get done in that time period)

9:30 – 10:00 AM review my schedule, read, journal 

10:00 – 2:00 PM work 

2:00 – 3:00 PM make dinner  (I like to make dinner early because I get tired later in the day)

3:00 – 6:00 PM play time with kids, be present with the family, take an evening walk

6:00 – 7:00 PM dinner with the family

7:00 – 7:30 PM bath time

7:30 – 9:00 PM kids bedtime 

9:00 – 10:00 PM a little more work 

10:00 – 10:30 PM hang out with the husband & sleep

 

It just feels so much more organized. I used to vacuum 70 times per day, do dishes randomly throughout the day, as if that EVER ends. But one day as I was journaling, I realized that I was spending my days on all the wrong things.

 

Not saying cleaning isn’t important, but it’s not something I needed to be doing all day long at random times because that interfered with my goals.

 

I would get to the end of the day and you know when you’re laying in bed and you’re reflecting on what you had accomplished in the day, it turned out I was doing nothing that I WANTED to do.

 

It was all these tasks that I felt were important but actually weren’t. I was actually buffering but more on this topic another day.

 

Organizing  my time to prioritize the important things also created space for me to take care of my mental and physical health, my family and my growing business.

 

Here are the exact steps for my time management system:

  1. Choose the areas in your life that are a top priority you want to improve in – these aren’t things you have to do anyways like changing diapers, doing dishes or taking out the garbage. These are tasks that you know you need to be doing but you avoid doing them. Example: workout for 20 minutes, prep a fiber-rich dinner for the next day, publish your first blog post.
  2. Then, find times in your day that you CAN and are ABLE to get those things done. These are times when your kids are the most relaxed and when your spouse is busy in the stock market.
  3. Then get these things done – non negotiable. If Beyonce can do it, you can too.

 

Here are a few things you can batch: cooking, cleaning, e-mails, meetings, playtime & reading.

When you batch, you create more space in your life which I’m guessing is a priority if you are reading this.

Do you time batch? Would love it if you shared your tips and your process under this post.

With that, I’m about to sign off and hang with the husband.

Make sure to connect with me on Instagram  @momnutritionist 

Chat soon!

Weight loss dietitian standing in kitchen

How to Stay Consistent With Your Weight Loss Goals

Staying consistent with your eating habits is the hardest part of maintaining weight loss results for the long term.

In today’s blog, we are going to talk about three things that can help you stick to your weight loss goals.

When you first start out on your healthy eating journey, you are extremely motivated and you promise yourself that this is it. This time you will stay motivated and consistent and you won’t give up.

After a few weeks, that motivation dies off and you are left feeling bored, tired, and unmotivated.

I am going to share with you two things that have helped keep me consistent with my healthy eating for years now and has kept the weight off.

 

Friday Planning.

I used to try to plan for my upcoming week on Sundays but Sunday would roll around and I would make some excuse to not do it.

Sundays are my days to kick back and relax.

Once I realized that Sundays just do not work for me or my schedule, I decided to change it up.

Every Friday before I dive into the weekend, I sit down for 20 minutes and plan the upcoming week’s meals. I don’t always prepare the meals ahead of time, but I will ALWAYS pull out a piece of paper and pen and plan.

Just knowing what I am making for lunches and dinners throughout the week relieves me of so much stress and last-minute decision making.

So if you have a hard time planning your week’s meals, then take a look at the day you are trying to get it done.

Sometimes the days you have set to meal prep and meal plan just do not work with your current schedule.

You can plan at any time in the week that best fits your busy life.

Weight loss dietitian planning her week in advance

Motivation and Weight Loss.

Waiting on motivation to lose weight and stick with your healthy eating habits can quickly turn into excuses.

I talk about this all the time on my Instagram stories.

It’s not that you don’t have the time or resources to stick to your weight loss goals. How do I know that? Because when you were motivated, you had those things.

 

Waiting on the idea that motivation is needed to get things done is just an excuse.

Making excuses and waiting to feel motivated is easier than doing the work. But when you’re not doing the work guess what happens?

Nothing happens. You stay where you are.

So what you need instead is discipline. No one is coming to do it for you.

How to become disciplined?

First things first.

 

Know your obstacles when it comes to weight loss.

By knowing what is holding you back from sticking to your goals, you can navigate those.

For example, let’s say you know that your infant wakes up during the night and you plan on working out at 5 AM.

You already know that this is something that you have tried before and it doesn’t work with your current schedule.

So it doesn’t make sense to keep planning your workouts at 5AM. This ends up making you feel guilty when the issue was that you just didn’t plan it right.

Instead, schedule it at a different time. Find a time where you are feeling more energized and one that makes more sense in your day.

You have removed the obstacle and made it easier for you to commit to the workout.