Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quick Tips To Avoid Packing on the Pounds During the Holidays

Looking for practical ways to avoid the holiday pooch without driving yourself insane? I asked men and women for helpful tips and they went from one extreme to the other:

“Thanksgiving and Christmas are  your cheat days. Eat what you want and fast for a week after.”
“Workout everyday.”
“Just don’t go all out.”

These suggestions will have you falling off the fitness-wagon and forgetting to hop back on come resolution time. On top of that, they are hard to track. How do you measure “don’t go all out.”

I've put together practical ways to maintain your healthy habits and still enjoy the time spent with family and friends as well as the appetizers, entrees and desserts the holidays have to offer.

1. Don’t go to the party hungry. “Saving room for the big meal” will have you consuming well over your necessary caloric intake as well as binge eating far after you are full. Eat before you get to the party so you won’t be starving when you arrive and become more susceptible to making unhealthy food choices.

2. Enjoy doesn't mean you have to eat 3 of everything and desserts don’t need to be your demise as long as you eat to taste and not tackle an entire plate. Opt for the smaller pieces and don’t go back for seconds. 

3. Look for nutritionally-dense foods to help you feel more full. This includes your smaller “snacks” between meals. The platters and appetizers can be your friend as long as you make good decisions. Veggies, fruits, and nuts can take the place of your small meal especially since they are full of fiber and protein.
CAUTION: Don’t linger by these buffet tables. Make a plate (saucer size) with 3-4 honest servings of these healthy foods and a tall glass of water & take a seat at a table. You will be more aware of how much you are consuming and better off than grabbing a handful of chips or cookies every time you pass by the spread.

4. Casseroles, dips, creamed, and/or candied anything are sure signs of high sodium or sugar foods with hidden calories. The added cheese, milk, and spoonfuls of butter will pack on the pounds without you noticing. When feeling the urge to indulge in these sides remember- Taste not Tackle.

5. 'Tis the Season for Egg Nog- not so fast. Limit your alcohol intake. Holiday drinks like egg nog Bailey’s and champagne may be plentiful but so are the empty calories. Be sure to rotate 8oz of water in between these drinks or aim for only 1 drink towards the end of dinner. Finish the night with water so you aren't bloated before bed.

If you have concerns with fitting in time to exercise the key is to plan ahead. View your calendar now and set an alarm an hour earlier than normal on the days of a big holiday gathering and make a trip to the gym that morning. Many hotels have small gym rooms available for guest or relations with a nearby gym that you can utilize for a minimal fee. Look into those before booking a room.

Be careful of excessive exercising to overcompensate heavy eating during this time of the year. Risk of injury or experiencing burn-out will have you not working out far after the holidays.

We have all heard it before- portion control. Moderation is key when looking to enjoy our favorite foods without going over board. The same is true with exercise. Do your best to keep to your routine during these next few months and your fitness goals won’t be sidelined.

Eat Clean. Train Hard. Feel Amazing

Brittany L.

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