As we near the end of the holidays, most of us are facing the extra weight we’ve gained or, if not that, the gross we feeling we have from days spent munching on that second piece of Mom’s chocolate cake or drinking just that one extra glass of champagne. Erin Haslag, a board-certified holistic wellness coach, has five post-holiday tips with to bringing back health, wellness – and fitting back in to your skinny jeans.
According to Erin, taking the weight loss to an extreme is never necessary.
“Starving and depriving yourself through extreme detoxes, fad diets or starvation does not set us up for success,” Erin said.
Instead, wellness begins with being kind to yourself, mentally as well as physically. Despite eating that extra cookie or two, or missing your weekly date with the gym, the focus should be on moving forward and appreciating your body, your life and the chance to treat it a little bit better each day.
Here are Erin’s top five tips to restoring wellness to your body in the new year:
1. Drink your water!
During the cooler winter months and the holidays we often forget to drink enough water. According to Erin, a pang of hunger can often be your body requesting a glass of water. When you feel hungry, try to satiate your hunger with a glass of water. If you’re still feeling hungry 15-20 minutes later, have a small snack in the neighborhood of 150-200 calories.
2. Eliminate the holiday food groups.
Cut out cookies, candies and salty, savory treats. Snacks loaded with sugar, salt and refined carbohydrates are food groups that you try to avoid out of the holidays. These food groups can take a toll on your body in many ways, thus speeding up the aging process. As you leave the holidays behind, begin to integrate more whole foods and freshly prepared dishes. Local foods that are in season will give your body the best nutrients possible.
3. Eat your veggies!
Erin said she makes herself hold off on treats until she has met her veggie quota for the day. She suggests making a list of your favorite veggies, and finding creative ways to integrate them into your meals and snacks. Veggies will also help to fulfill your body’s need for water, and replace less-than-healthy snack options.
4. Easy your way back into exercise.
Erin said that we often get discouraged because we are trying to attack several areas at once when it comes to our health.
“When we fail to meet the high expectations we’ve set for ourselves we give up all together,” Erin said. “Take a progressive approach and slowly build back into your pre-holiday routine.”
Erin suggests that if you were at the gym 4-5 times a week before the holidays, you should be aiming for 2-3 days for the first few weeks of the new year.
5. Step off…the scale!
Sugar, salt and other holiday meals cause water retention, which Erin says can make you feel bloated, as well as causing the fluctuation in weight you experience after the holidays. If you’re feeling the “weight” of your transgressions, she suggests staying off the scale for a week or two. Instead, track your progress by how you feel – your energy levels, concentration and focus will improve significantly as you tackle re-setting your healthy habits.