Coach Lynzee: take charge of your nutrition this season

The season of family gatherings and office parties are upon us.

This can create extra stress and anxiety in anyone trying to maintain a regular routine, but it especially affects those who are diligently trying to maintain a healthy routine. This is the time of year where most people are looking to indulge before the new year begins. Meals consisting of rich foods accompanied by alcohol are readily available and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying these foods. But if your committed to limiting your consumption of them, it can be difficult to attend these events, not just because of the food being served but because you will likely be confronted about your new healthy habits.

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We’re all raised with certain eating habits and when we change these it can be a source of conflict between us and those that care about us. Realize that this change in your dietary habits is uncomfortable and difficult not only for you, but also for those around you. Family and friends may not understand what you’re doing and why, and because they care they will more than likely bring up this change in your lifestyle. Well meaning comments and awkward questions can lead to unwanted tension and make it harder to stay committed to healthy habits. How can you handle this delicate situation?

The only way to constructively deal with this situation is to get ahead of it and confront it. Confrontation is commonly avoided because it has a negative connotation. Don’t look at this situation as a negative and embrace the opportunity in front of you. This is a chance to explain to your family why you desire to change your habits and how doing so is helping you become a strong, healthy, individual. After all, you cannot be there for your family and friends if you haven’t taken proper care of yourself. It’s important to let them know that this change you are pursuing can only have a positive effect on your relationship. Understand this may not be the only conversation you have with those close to you about your dietary habits. Change takes a while to set in for everyone, so be patient with those who may ask you more questions.

Now, to discuss something that may have you more unsettled than a crucial conversation with your loved ones. How do you handle the food that will be served at the parties you attend? Although the answer may not seem simple, it is. If you want to eat the food being served, by all means do so. There’s nothing wrong with indulging every so often and one meal and a couple drinks will not undo all the hard work you are putting in to reach your goals. If you want to cut down on the food you consume at the parties you attend, eat meals beforehand, stay hydrated, and pay attention to portion sizes.

The truth is, when you attend gatherings with a balanced attitude you can focus more on the important things, like spending time with family and friends and making memories. 

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