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How to Handle the Holidays…and all that Food!

Jeremy Hall is one of our biggest losers.

No, not like that.

 

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Jeremy is an X4Life Champion who has lost over 50 pounds with OGX. His incredible story has been an inspiration to thousands of people across the world who are trying to live a healthier and more active lifestyle.

We talked to Jeremy about how he plans on maintaining his healthy lifestyle, despite all of the delicious temptations he’ll encounter during the holiday season.

What do we love about the holidays? Family, fun, friends…and of course the food! While I’ve done challenges in the past to avoid sweets or sodas, now I am committed to to maintaining my momentum of the me that’s risen out of the old. As a result I’ve been thinking about how I can approach the food of the holidays, enjoying traditions and what we do as a family while not losing my focus.

Thanksgiving was my first test. We spent the holiday weekend with extended family, which included a full day preparing the food for the feast including all the great options and many amazing pies. I told myself I was going to enjoy myself, but also be reasonable. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. were all as amazing as always. I had planned to have a little slice of some of the pies, but when it came time for dessert I realized I was full. I didn’t have any desire to eat more and simply passed on the sugar. The leftovers through the weekend were as great as always, just in more reasonable amounts than in the past, and I still found I wanted to pass on the desserts. It wasn’t hard, it was actually pretty easy now that I’m in the mode of eating and living better.

It would be easy to fall back into my old habits, the difference now is I have found my motivation to put my health and well being ahead of overindulgence.

My change began in June when I started to find my FENIX, the new me I wanted to be. To do that I decided first I needed to attack the weight through modifying diet. I know many do this through calorie counting, which is great, but not for me. Counting the calories of everything I take is an obstacle for me that simply won’t happen. I did get a general idea of the various foods I commonly eat, but for me it’s all about portion sizes, better food choices, very little snacking, lots of water, and finally no late night eating. Let me explain each of those a little further.

Portion Control

This is a big one for me, pun intended. I really do enjoy food and am blessed to with a wife that enjoys making great meals for our family. I can chop, slice and dice to help out, but the kitchen is hers to direct. We generally have good quality food, but I tended to fill my plate, eat it all quickly and go back for more. One great choice we made was to move the food we serve from off the table, so we serve up from the counter in the kitchen before we sit down. Pretty simple concept, but by not having the food in front of us we tend to take fewer seconds or pick at more food.

Next, serving up smaller portions on smaller plates. Simply serving up less means I’ll eat less. Eat it slower, letting the food have time to reach the stomach and trigger the “full” response. A great way to do this is actually have more conversation with your family at the table. Novel idea! Finally, being willing to leave food on the plate. I grew up with the well intended direction of “finish your food” and “clean your plate”. Now these days if I’ve served too much, I try to take note of that and stop when I’ve eaten enough.

Better Food Choices

What’s your indulgence? How often do you indulge? Life doesn’t need to be void of those tasty treats, but if you find yourself having it more and more often, then it’s no longer just a treat. During my focused weight loss I cut out all the unnecessary foods. No desserts, zero sodas or processed sugars, very little breads or dairy. After reaching my initial weight loss goals and transitioning to a sustainable everyday approach to food I’ve still limited comfort foods to something happens every so often. The benefit of being active again is I can have those things periodically, but they are less important to me. I still haven’t had any soda or desserts since I started. Why would I?

Limited, Healthy Snacking

I work a desk job during the day, which makes it easy to get into the habit of snacking all day. I’ve removed the candy jar from my office and replaced it with peanuts, carrots, and ogxFenix™ shakes when I’m starting to actually feel hungry. Having the OGX Shaker Bottle at the office is much better than running out for a fast food meal as well. No chips, candy or other eating simply out of boredom.

Drinking a LOT of Water

Not only is plenty of water good for you, it helps keep the stomach feeling full. During my initial weight loss I was drinking 4-6L a day. That’s a lot! Now I typically drink 2-4L through the work day. Some drink flavoring does help this out, but nothing carbonated or full of sugar.

NO Late Night Snacking

This was another nemesis for me. I do a fair amount of photo and project work in evenings, and when working late those food cravings kick in. That’s when the plate of nachos sounds oh so good! Now I don’t eat anything after dinner. Drink all the water I want, but no food. That’s the worst time of day to eat, and when we often have treats or junk food. Sticking to this commitment has been an important part of my plan.

So wrapping it all up, for me it’s been about establishing and maintaining good eating habits, and having a plan for the holidays. The meals with friends and parties have already started, with plenty more to come. Knowing what I plan to do going in and choosing to maintain my FENIX ahead of indulgences has me continuing to trim my weight and feel amazing. And it can work for you.

 

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