One of the most difficult things to do over the holidays is to stay focused on a healthy lifestyle. With the constant barrage of cookies and candy and fudge and cocoa and eggnog and rich creamy sauces and ….. well you get the picture…. you are going to take a nibble or two or even twenty. Unless you completely cut yourself off from all holiday gatherings, it’s inevitable, you are going to eat too much or drink more than you planned, then feel like crap the next day.
One of my goals for this year was not to gain a pound. With the average American putting on 10-12 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I decided to buck the trend this year and not gain even an ounce! Now I didn’t say I was going to be able to lose weight, but I do plan to maintain control. Why would I sabotage the hard work I’ve put in to get into shape?!
Here are a few ways that I plan to help keep my holidays healthy, merry and bright:
1. Find Balance. Remember this time of year is all about enjoying yourself with friends and family. Don’t deprive yourself of the things you love most about the season. Just be sure to stay on track during the days before and after a party. When you stick to a healthy lifestyle and stay consistent, you have wiggle room for a little indulgence here and there.
2. Plan ahead. Make a plan that you can stick with. The minute someone invites you to a gathering, offer to bring a dish. While this may not be an option for every gathering, it’s always worth offering. This way you know the menu will include at least one waist-friendly dish.
3. Don’t make the mistake of not eating all day when you have a dinner party or event that night. Stick to small, nutrient-dense meals throughout the day, including greens, lean protein, fruit and a bit of healthy fats. This ensures you get the fuel you need without going overboard come dinnertime. The same thing goes for skipping meals the day after the event if you had a few too many treats. Don’t do it! If you overindulged, don’t stress about it. Move on, eat clean the next meals and just make healthier choices next time. And do a full body workout for good measure.
4. Find something active you can do. Don’t just sit and watch TV because you are bored. Take a walk with your children or grandchildren, or even your sister. Jump up and gel clean the kitchen. And park as far from the door at a mall or market as you can and walk! Take the stairs. Grab a partner and go dancing. Involve the whole family! There are so many little things you can do to stay active over the holidays. And if you can, be sure to hit the gym a couple of times. An early morning workout, lasting just 30-45 minutes will truly invigorate you as you kick off your day.
5. Don’t fill out your waist out with what your drink. One large mocha from Starbucks has over 500 calories. A glass of wine can have anywhere from 110 to 300 calories plus quite a large amount of sugar. Eight ounces of eggnog (non-alcoholic) has 343 calories and 19 grams of fat! Indulging in these drinks continuously over the holidays will definitely add to your waistline.
6. Drink up with the right things! If your body is dehydrated it literally cannot function, and it increases cravings too. It’s easy to forget to drink the water your body needs with all the holiday chaos, especially when the weather outside is cold. Your body needs half its body weight in ounces daily — if you weigh 150 pounds, get at least 75 ounces of water each day. Also drinking a full glass of water before your meals will have you feeling a little full, keeping you from over-indulging at the dinner table.
7. Try to get some rest! When your body is tired, it just doesn’t function properly. A tired body often equals a tired mind and slower reflexes. You will crave more junk because the sugar rush will give you extra energy. That energy will be short-lived and you might find yourself crashing just when the real fun is set to begin.
Are you trying to be a little more careful this holiday season or are you all about indulgence? What are you doing to help keep the pounds from adding up?
‘Til Next Time,