For as long as I can remember, the holidays have meant lots of great family gatherings and parties, laughter and memorable conversations, and not-so-healthy food and holiday-themed treats. I’m always drawn to the pumpkin spice coffees, lattes, cheesecakes, muffins and breads. It’s a real struggle for anyone with type 2 diabetes and anyone living a healthier lifestyle!
Before the temptations and the guilt of giving in arrive, let’s make a plan to break this cycle, live a healthier lifestyle and still enjoy the holidays. I’m trying a new approach this year – setting a health goal for the holiday season and keeping it in focus. In this post, I’m going to explain my plan and help you set your own.
For My Health Today Holiday Health Plan: Maintain, Don’t Gain
Here’s Why It Will Work
Changes in my weight directly impact my ability to manage diabetes, and it affects my blood pressure. I know this from not only professional experience and reliable sources like the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association, but also from my own personal experience. I’ve witnessed the difference in both of these conditions when my weight changes as little as five pounds. If I can focus on keeping my weight steady during the holidays, I’m making sure that diabetes and high blood pressure are well maintained.
Here’s How I’ll Do It
Use Food Tracking Apps
I will use my food tracking app and make sure that I log everything I eat in real time. I’m not going to wait until the end of the day to enter everything, and I will not skip anything either. It takes a little getting used to, but it becomes second-nature quickly. My personal favorite is the MY PLATE by Livestrong app.
Tracking my food in the app gives me the opportunity to add exercise as well. It calculates an estimated daily number of calories for you and recalculates your allowable calories based on your activity. For example, If I’m allowed 2,000 calories for the day, and I exercise and burn 300 calories, then the allowed calories for that day will be adjusted to 2,300. (Basically making room for that pumpkin spice muffin that I just couldn’t say no to earlier that morning.)
Wear Your FitBit
My daily step goal is 10,000, which is also the daily recommended default setting. My FitBit also sends me notifications each hour to get up and move. I’ve started incorporating walk-at-home videos to help prevent getting caught up in working for hours at a time before taking a break for exercise. It’s part of my routine, and I’m going to be using this amazing resource to help me walk for my health. If you’re interested in walk-at-home videos, you’ll find them here.
Use the For My Health Today Journal
The For My Health Today journal is a tool that will help remind you that you’re making progress and provides a place to make note of how you’re feeling along the journey. My daughter (who has an app for everything) told me that she feels more motivated when she physically writes down her accomplishments and checks off things that she’s accomplished each day. I’m excited about using this resource myself!
For My Health Today Recommendation:
Maintain, Don’t Gain During the Holidays
I think the best approach for the holiday season is to focus on maintaining your weight. This is much more positive and proactive than a guilt-ridden, reactive tactic filled with unrealistic expectations.
What will you decide to do? Give it some thought, set a goal for yourself.
Get the For My Health Today Journal, which is a tool that will help remind you that you’re making progress and provides a place to make note of how you’re feeling along the journey.
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