The holiday season is a time full of good times, good company and…good food. It is all too easy to find yourself indulging in the delicious flavors of the season. We are tempted by these guilty pleasures the most during the holidays. The average American gains anywhere from 7-10 lbs from Thanksgiving to New Years!
Here are some tips to help you avoid the “Season’s Gr-Eatings”
- Stay Active! It is important to stay active through all of the hustle ad bustle of the holidays. Exercise for at least 30 minutes everyday. Remember, short workout are better than no workouts! Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and go for a quick run or walk if you don’t have time to make it to the gym.
- Plan Ahead! Take your workouts to the next level and eat EXTRA clean leading up to the holidays to give yourself a little room to indulge.
- Stay Occupied! Holiday parties typically consist of eating, drinking and more eating. If you’re hosting a holiday party, try to incorporate games and activities to break up the time and help prevent boredom eating.
- Avoid Mindless Snacking! It is easy to lose track of how much you are eating when you are standing around the appetizer table catching up with family. Make a small, portioned plate of food to snack on and stick to it. Save your appetite for the main course!
- Less Sides-More Protein! Satisfy your hunger by piling on the lean proteins, like turkey! Skip the fatty, glazed ham and don’t fill up on sides like mashed potatoes or stuffing. Fill up on lower calorie foods before moving onto those with more calories. Make sure to fill up on the main course to avoid over-indulging when dessert is served.
- Beware of your alcohol intake! We often focus on eating healthy and forget about the calories and carbs hiding in alcohol. Avoid beer at all costs! It is FULL of empty carbs. Stick to wine or liquor but be mindful of sugary mixers and remember to drink plenty of water!
- Don’t be Fooled By “Wanna-Be” Healthy Foods! Sure carrots and broccoli are healthy, but the ranch dip they’re served with, not so much. Vegetable sides for the holidays are often drenched with butter. Beware of unhealthy foods disguised as “healthy.” Save the calories and spend them on something more enjoyable that will really satisfy your cravings.
- Enjoy Yourself! If you eat healthy and workout the rest of the year, you deserve to reward yourself! Just remember to keep your cheat day to ONE day and do NOT bring home leftovers. The danger in cheating on your diet is getting back into the swing of things afterwards. Who wants to eat a salad when they’re remembering how good grandma’s apple pie was the night before? If you find yourself at more than one holiday parties, try to contain your cheat days to one per week!
- Work It Off! Try to work off your cheat meal within 8 hours of consumption. Most of the time, that isn’t possible. Just make sure to hit the gym hard the next day and incorporate some cardio into your workout. Drinking a LOT of water will ironically help you shed some of the water weight that comes with eating salty foods.