BY WENDY M. HENRICHS
Board Certified Chiropractic Pediatrician and Nutrition Counselor
Another holiday season is upon us, which means another year is coming to an end. December is the month to finish the year strong and lay the foundation for a year of energy and vitality. The holiday season is full of challenges with the stress and the holiday goodies, but there are some strategies to create momentum as we move into a new year. Here are some tips to help you finish your year strong and beat the holiday bulge.
Daily gratitude – The holidays are about celebration and being thankful for all that is good in our life. Create a daily gratitude log and write down what you are grateful for or what you want upon waking while your coffee is brewing and before you go to bed instead of checking your email, Facebook or Instagram. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just something like, “I’m grateful that my kids got along during breakfast,” or if they didn’t, “My kids get along during breakfast.” This simple act of expressing gratitude and/or stating your intention will lower your stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes us to store fat among other things. End the year in fat burning, not fat-storing mode by expressing daily gratitude.
Daily breakfast – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day all year, but especially during the holidays. Eating a breakfast filled with protein, and good fats will not only kick start your metabolism and your brain, but also keep you satisfied so you are less likely to overeat later in the day. Some examples of proteins and good fats are eggs, uncured bacon or sausage, coconut oil, raw nuts or fresh nut butters, plain Greek yogurt and chia seeds to name a few. Finish your year with daily breakfast and lay the foundation for a leaner, fitter you in the new year.
Lift Weights – Lifting weights 3-4 days a week, even if you perform bodyweight exercises, will help you burn more calories at rest. Weight training causes a sustained increase in your metabolism for hours after your weight training session. Not only that, but the muscle you build over time will increase your resting metabolism or basal metabolic rate. This is the number of calories your body burns without doing anything. Schedule your 30 minutes or more of weight training 3-4 times weekly and feel the calories melt off you.
Walk or Run – A short walk or run is a great way to combat the stresses of the holiday season. Getting your body moving and blood pumping for as little as 10-15 minutes will release endorphins-your happy chemicals, and decrease cortisol-your stress hormone making you feel happier and less stressed. Short bouts of movement are also great for your concentration, mental focus, memory and attention to detail. Finish the year strong with the exercise that needs no equipment other than a good pair of shoes, and enjoy all the benefits.
More Water Please – Drinking more water is a very simple way to burn more fat, increase your energy, improve your concentration and feel better in general. We should consume half our bodyweight in ounces every day. This essential nutrient is often overlooked as a weight control strategy, but is an easy and effective way to combat the holiday bulge and finish the year strong.
Enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends and finish the year strong by adding one or more of the strategies into your daily routine. Your body and mind will be grateful, and a new year of energy and vitality awaits you.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.