I saw various versions of this very funny meme on Facebook right around Thanksgiving. We joke about the holiday ten pounds almost like we do the “freshman fifteen,” right? And while many of us don’t actually put on an additional ten pounds, we can definitely feel our jeans suddenly feel a bit snug.
Some years I’ve done better than others in terms of putting that weight on to begin with. But this year, I can feel it a bit. When I went running last weekend, it was as though I could feel the sweet potato pie dragging me down. 😉 But rather than feeling bad about the additional weight, I just decided to do what I know to do while I enjoy this season.
1. Make sure exceptions are just that, exceptions. We all want to enjoy those creamy mashed potatoes, the sweet potato biscuits and, of course, the pie. I sure did! But, in reality, I had made exceptions leading up to Thanksgiving. That’s the real problem. We don’t put on ten pounds at one sitting. It’s all the exceptions before and after that meal. So, I decided that I’d quickly get back to my normal eating and work out routine so that my jeans feel back to normal by Christmas (or sooner). I expect to make exceptions again for our Christmas dinner, but that won’t be a problem as long as I’m back in my routine between now and then.
2. Keep moving, even on vacation. Maybe it’s too cold or icy to run outside. Throw in a workout DVD. Dance around with your children for 20 minutes. The weather is nice enough for us at this time of the year that I got onto the trampoline with my children the other day. That was after an impromptu soccer match in our backyard. 🙂 It’ll burn a few calories, keep your body moving, and be fun to exercise with your family.
3. Don’t think about food. It seems that the more we work on being careful with our food/calorie intake, the more likely we are to think about food and our bodies. Just have fun and allow for a few well-deserved exceptions. They are more fun that way.
How do you manage your weight around the holidays?
It’s the middle of January…how are your New Year’s resolutions/goals coming along? Here are a few tips to help you reach your health-related goals while maintaining a thrifty budget.
Eat Fat. I know that sounds like counter-intuitive and maybe even bad advice. However, we were told for so long that we needed to eat a “low fat diet” in order to lose fat. However, science has proven that to be wrong. Our bodies need fat in order to burn fat. What’s key to remember is that our bodies do best with “good fats,” like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, and nuts.
Eat Slowly. The other important thing to remember when it comes to eating fats is listening to your body to know when you are full. Think of the times when you’ve eaten too much too fast. Minutes after you finish your
binge meal, you realize you overdid it. We’ve all been there! There’s a delay between the time our tummy is full and time our brain can send us the signal that our tummy is full. So, eat slowly.
Eat Less. Eating good fats has another advantage (besides burning fat); it also allows us to eat less and still be satisfied. That is just as important to weight loss as eating the right foods. Eating less and being satisfied is a great way to lose weight…and save money. Seriously. The Standard American Diet includes a lot more food (lots of it not any good for our bodies) than our bodies need. You’ll find that your meals will stretch just a little bit more. Not a bad perk, is it? 😉
Eat. Too many people are starving themselves in January in the name of “cleansing,” health, and weight loss. Most of those people will put the weight back on throughout the year. Don’t be one of those people. Eat, and enjoy it!
How are you doing with your health-related 2014 goals?
Is getting in shape one of your goals for this year? If so, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg and sign an annual contract in order to make it happen. There are many ways to get in shape and pay little or no money at all to do it.
One of my favorite ways to work out is to simply get out and walk or run. I have friends who take their children with them for a bike ride. If you have little ones at home, it takes planning. So, for me that means, either before my husband leaves for work or after he comes back. Neither of those are ideal times. But, it’s possible and I’ve done it. The short winter days have made it a bit more challenging. So, I usually get out on the weekends and do something else during the week (see below).
Turn On The TV
Since having children, I’ve learned to enjoy working out using a workout DVD. I used to think that a work out DVD would not be as challenging as the workouts I was accustomed to. However, I discovered some very challenging instructors. And, if you’re limited to your house, you can really make it work.
Incidentally, this is a good time of the year to buy work out DVDs. You’ll see lots of exercise DVDs and equipment being discounted this month.
Find A Routine
If you look online, you will find a wide range of workouts you can do at home on your own without a DVD or weights. Just you. It typically looks something like this:
15 Push Ups
15 Sit Ups
Plank (45 seconds)
(Repeat 3 times)
That’s just something I made up. Here’s another example. You can find the one that suits you best, or make up one!
It doesn’t have to cost or cost much to get in shape!
Is working out on your list of goals for 2014?
“Mommy, do you want some coffee?” (My 4-year old daughter, holding her toy tea cup)
Me: “Sure! What did you put in it?” (because she knows I don’t drink my coffee black)
My daughter (smiling): “Coconut oil!”
That’s a true story. And, that conversation has taken place (just as stated above) on multiple occasions. But, don’t blame my daughter… I started adding about a tablespoon of coconut oil to my coffee when I was working on losing the last few lingering pregnancy pounds a few months ago. Apparently, taking 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil per day (one tablespoon before each meal) helps boost metabolism to burn more calories throughout the day. It also fills you up so that you end up not eating as much. While I am still looking to drop a few more pounds, I put the coconut oil in my coffee more because I really do enjoy the flavor and because of the other health benefits it offers.
Benefits Of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and microbial, which essentially means it is a natural antibiotic. It’s also full of disease-fighting antioxidants. As I mentioned above, it helps boost metabolism for weight loss. It lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease and improves cholesterol levels. There is SO MUCH more. But, that gives you the tip of the iceberg on this amazing and delicious superfood.
Other Uses for Coconut Oil
Cooking: I cook with coconut oil just about every day. I use it in place of butter (sometimes along with butter) and in place of any other oil or fat. I use it to saute veggies and to sear beef or chicken; and, of course, I bake with it!
Hair Conditioner: Coconut oil is great for deep conditioning. The fatty acids in the oil penetrate easily into the hair and make for better conditioning than you can get from most store-bought hair conditioners. Coconut oil has become my hair conditioner 🙂
Skin Care: The other thing my daughter may think everyone else does is put coconut oil on boo boos and bites. Its healing and anti-inflammatory properties help skin to be replenished and restored. I also just use it as lotion when my skin is dry.
There are so many more uses. But, we can always talk more about those later over some coffee! 😉
What do you do with your coconut oil?
You may have heard of the popular book, Eat Fat, Lose Fat. It’s a relatively recent concept that fat is not what makes us fat. Our bodies need good fats and actually needs fat to rev up metabolism (so that we can burn more calories).
As a Thrifty Diva, I can’t ignore the money saving aspect of this concept. I have made a point to include more healthy fats in my diet. Yes, I believe that it has helped me lose weight. However, the bottom line of eating fat is that you end up eating less! So, no need to throw out the chicken fat or skin. Save them and make some broth to use later. Throw some extra coconut oil in your rice or your oven fried potatoes. You will find that you will absolutely eat less…because the fat fills you up.
Eating less means two things happen. You will lose weight and you save money on all those snacks and foods you use as fillers when you’re still hungry.
Wanna drop a few pounds and save money:
1. Quit snacking on non-nutritional foods. Empty calories will not boost your metabolism. If you’re hungry in between meals, make sure you get some protein/fat so that your body can keep burning calories. So, a handful of almonds, some oatmeal or yogurt can help do the trick.
2. Add fat. Yes, I did say add fat. Adding healthy fats to your diet will give your body the fat it needs to burn fat and will fill you up so that you end up taking in fewer calories.
Isn’t it fun to lose weight and save money at the same time?
If you’re like me, you want to have your cake and eat it too. Maybe that wasn’t the most appropriate way to say that you don’t want to eat processed foods that lack nutritional value at any time, much less when you are trying to lose weight. So, I just downloaded this FREE e-book to help me get the final few pregnancy (and now holiday!) pounds off! Head to Amazon to get yours! Free for Amazon Prime members only… just so you know. 😉