A group of people holding wine glasses at a table.

No Excuses November

The Road to Holiday Food Mindfulness

Here we are, already in the twilight of 2023. Not sure about you, but it was a quick year and I’m bracing myself for the holidays. So, when my clients reminded me of No Excuses November, which is the notion of committing to a goal to accomplish this month, I decided to stick to my overarching goals of healthful living and to eat lots of veggies and move my body every day.

More specific goals always backfire, so it’s best for me to stay general. Just THAT amount of specificity gets me through the holidays with the ability to skip the brownie or chocolate and motivates me to go for a walk or take a spin class. It’s enough to not gain a ton of weight and maintain my sanity during this notoriously busier time of year.

I’m challenging each of you to join me in prioritizing yourself for the rest of the month.

Seasonal Weight Gain

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to a thorough review by the NY Times, the average American gains one to two pounds. It’s safe to say it’s one of those times of year where sweets and alcohol seep into the week and our healthful routines are easily derailed.

What to Do

A No Excuses November mentality helps keep you on track. A holiday party is a special celebration, where you might add extra alcohol, delicious appetizers and a beautiful meal or dessert to the otherwise ordinary day. If planned for and looked forward to, this is great. Enjoy. If it is another decadent meal in a long string of indulgence, it is less celebratory and increases the risk of weight gain.

So instead of this: Celebrate > Celebrate > Celebrate > Celebrate = holiday weight gain.

Do this: Choose wisely > Choose wisely > Celebrate > Choose wisely = NO holiday weight gain.

From lots and lots of experience with myself and clients, it’s best if a planned indulgent event is buffered by planned healthful choices. No need to keep eating the sweets. Eat it once, enjoy it and then get back to your normal healthy ways quickly and efficiently (it works!)

One Pound a Year Adds Up

The typical American adult gains 1 to 2 pounds per year. The holiday weight gain contributes heavily. This has implications for long-term health risks. Staying mindful, present and choosing your holiday indulgence strategically will help you stay fit, keeping your clothes fitting nicely, your annual physical uneventful, your doctor happy and you nice and healthy.

A No Excuses November Food Plan

What food might you include in your No Excuses November challenge? I would argue that a food-related goal would be best paired with an exercise goal (the age-old diet/exercise combo at work).

This might look like:

  • 1 serving of veggie soup or salad + walking 20 minutes per day
  • Veggies with lunch and dinner + an exercise class 3 days a week
  • 5-6 fruit and veggie servings throughout the day + 25 to 50 squats and push-ups per day
  • Mine is at least one salad + some kind of movement EVERY DAY

Or any other manageable, quantifiable interesting combo that sounds fun to you.

For me, the beauty of No Excuses November is in its no excuses-ness. It does not let you off the hook during a busy time. No matter how busy you are, you make time for your diet and exercise goals. In fact, the busier you are, the clearer you become and the more planned you become (which is gold in the habit-forming world). Because of the priority you’ve placed on yourself and your goals, you have new habits. Which are the key to a healthful lifestyle!

Enjoy the challenge. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

Healthy Nest’s Natural Weight Loss Program

At Healthy Nest, we’ve identified that creating new habits is a cornerstone of forever diet changes. It’s one of the main reasons that the Natural Weight Loss Program’s expectation is low and slow weight loss and not a 30-day fast weight loss program.

The low and slow philosophy allows you to create your new habits and then solidify them over time as you lose pounds. When you’ve completed the weight loss piece, you’ve also created the lifestyle piece, seamlessly. Works like a charm and we’re proud of it.

Want more? Reach out! We’re here for you. Schedule a free consult with a holistic nutritionist.