5 Sure Ways to Maintain, Don’t Gain This Holiday Season

11 12 2015

Always facing a few extra pounds after the holiday season has come and gone? It’s tough not to be in that boat. Unlike other “1 day” holidays like Halloween and Valentine’s Day, our winter holidays take over our lives for a few weeks, and can encompass several holiday meals as well as parties and gatherings that all revolve around food. And what kind of foods are usual fare? Rich, high fat, high sugar, high calorie foods- and the more decadent, the better. It can be a really hard environment to navigate, and many just throw their hands up in surrender.
But, you don’t want to do that! I know you are saying, “I can’t let that happen again this year!”. So what can you do to stay the course, and help yourself (and others around you!) come through it all unscathed? Here are 5 tips to get you started this season:

1. Keep your eye on the prize. You worked really hard to get where you are! You have made your health a priority. You have discovered how GREAT you feel when you put high quality FUEL (ie: healthy foods) in your body, and get regular exercise! Do NOT let a plate of Christmas cookies or a quart of egg nog stand in your way. You started this journey, you want to finish it.

2. Realize that it’s ok to slip, but don’t fall on your face. In other words, it’s ok to celebrate and have some of your favorite holiday treats at a party, but don’t OVERINDULGE. Choose a couple of your favorite things to try, but then walk around and socialize (you are less likely to be eating when you are talking-take it from a talker!), carrying a glass of club soda or seltzer water to sip on. This will keep your hands occupied, keep you hydrated, and will make it harder for you to eat while you are holding a glass.

3. Limit alcohol. Each serving of alcohol- 12oz of beer, 5-6oz of wine, and 1 ½ oz of hard liquor- has ~150 calories. These can rack up quickly. If you have a hard time stopping at 1 drink, drink slowly, and try choosing drinks with low cal/no cal mixers (like wine spritzers, or liquor mixed with diet sodas or “juices”). What’s the kicker? Alcohol lowers inhibitions and can actually increase your appetite. It is also known to increase the enjoyment of food, so you end up wanting to eat more. Munchies, anyone?

4. Bring your own food. Find something beautiful on Pinterest to take to the party with you. You would not believe the amazing fruit/vegetable/cheese creations you can find that are simple and will totally wow party guests! Bonus- this guarantees you have something healthy to nosh on instead of bacon wrapped bacon and deep fried mac and cheese balls (yes, these are for real). Check these out!

Grape and Cheese traygrinch-fruit-kabobs-A
Fruit Tree Design
Christmas Tree Veggie Tray

Grinch Fruit Kabobs

5. Make fitness a priority! Schedule your work outs just like every other event on your calendar. Remember, the little indulgences add up quickly, so you should plan on doing MORE activity than usual. Try adding in some fun family activities to your usual routine. Go ice skating at the local rink, or try to get a couple of days of skiing in. My daughter and I just did an “Ugly Holiday Sweater 5K” – what a blast!

IMG_1622

Make holiday shopping full day work out- burn extra calories power walking from store to store, taking the stairs instead of the escalators, parking further from the entrance, and lugging those heavy packages! Instead of complaining about being tired, make shopping a challenge!

Whatever you do, remember to take a step back, slow down for a minute, and soak up the love, peace, and joy surrounding you. While you’re at it, spread some of that love, peace, and joy around. The world could surely use it right now.
May you have a very happy and healthy holiday season 😉

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