The holidays are a time of year that I really look forward to. Not only do I enjoy the foods that are the traditional holiday fare & start showing up after Halloween, but I really enjoy all the family time. Couple all those heavier foods & treats with busier days & nights and you could end up with some unwanted extra weight after New Year’s day.
So, how do you avoid gaining an extra pound or 10? Moderation. Sure, that is easy to say. Is it easy to do? Here are some tips that I have found to be extremely helpful.
- Don’t deny yourself your favorite treats. When you go to a party, go ahead & have small servings of your favorite treats. Stay away from things that are around all the time or aren’t your favorites & use those calories for the things you really love or only come once a year – gingerbread, egg nog, fudge, etc. Go ahead, have one, but stop there. No need to go crazy & stuff yourself, though. Chances are you will feel uncomfortable & then beat yourself up for eating too much.
- Try to eat as close to your regular diet as possible. Don’t skip meals or starve yourself to save up for a big splurge at a party. Most often this backfires & because you are so hungry you end up eating way more & then feeling like an overstuffed turkey at the holidays. If you eat sensible meals throughout the day, maybe just a little lighter, you will still be able to enjoy some treats at the party.
- Don’t skip the gym. Stick as close as you can to your regular exercise schedule. Not only will this help to keep off the extra pounds from the treats & drinks, but it will help with holiday stress, too. Sure, you may only work out 3 instead of 5 days, but 3 is better than nothing. If you don’t have a gym or are traveling, get out for a nice, brisk walk after a heavy meal or in lieu of a nap.
- Between holidays & functions, follow your regular diet & exercise plan. Don’t fall off the wagon just because you may have consumed an entire pumpkin pie or pan of brownies. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off & have a nice, healthy breakfast the next morning. Don’t keep telling yourself that you will start that new healthy lifestyle come January 1st – do it now. There is no time like the present (and I don’t mean the one you wrapped up for your parents or siblings). And, you will most likely feel better eating healthy foods rather than continuing the junk food, treats & alcohol assault on your body.
- Make sure to eat your fruits & vegetables. It is no secret that holiday treats are lacking in the fresh fruit & vegetable department. To help stay healthy & keep off some of that unwanted weight, add fresh fruits & veggies to your meals or snacks. Not only do they help fill you up, but they are full of fiber & vitamins. Then you won’t feel as guilty having that sweet potato casserole that Aunt Martha slaved over. You know the one I am talking about – topped with candied walnuts & marshmallows.
- Drink plenty of water. If you don’t already, make sure you are drinking water all day long. To help avoid feeling like you got hit by a bus in the morning, alternate your drinks with a glass of water at the next party. Not only will this help slow you down, as we all tend to lose track when we get chatty, but keeping yourself hydrated will help ward off that nasty hangover.
Try some of these tips this year & see how they work for you. I know that I always feel so much better when I eat healthy foods. Yes, I love my treats, but I enjoy those in moderation. You have seen my “Cookie-A-Day” posts by now, I am sure. I freeze most of these cookies. I do try them, yes, as do my kids, but I don’t go overboard. They will be there tomorrow. Also, I know that they are in the freezer, so if I am really craving a Dark Chocolate Snowstorm or Almond Cranberry Bite, I will grab one & make that dessert.
I wish you all a happy & healthy holiday season! Share some of your tips below – I am always interested in hearing others tricks for keeping the craziness that is the season at bay.