Holiday Cheer Without the Food Fear: 5 Tips To Help You Avoid Holiday Eating Fails December 15, 17
The holidays are a time to spend with family, enjoy some downtime and to …eat! And I don’t believe in watching what I eat when it comes to holiday gatherings. I’m all about creating boundaries that fit within a normal lifestyle, and I certainly don’t want to be the voice that tells you to skip your mom’s casserole one night of the year! And I will be totally transparent – have I ever overdone it a bit at the buffet or maybe indulged in a few egg nogs? Of course! Has it ever completely derailed my health or caused a massive fluctuation that I couldn’t rectify within two days after I returned back to my normal routine? No way. That’s because, when you break it down, there really are only a couple of nights a year where calories and alcohol are abundantly available (in your home). So, the real way to look at it is -- how do you neutralize that indulgence after that big holiday celebration? After all, I know you want to still rock a little black dress on New Year’s Eve.
So, here are a few P.tips (get it?) to get ready for the end of the year festivities and to make sure that a few extra bites of sweets don’t derail all the hard work you have put in!
It’s all about the prep work! This is all about what you do leading up to the holidays. For many, you throw in the towel weeks before acknowledging you are going to blow it that week and vow to restart your healthy living on January 1st. WRONG. Building that maintainable lifestyle is the ultimate goal – and getting your body adjusted and ready, will ensure that a few missteps aren’t detrimental. So, as you lead up to your big celebration days, stay on track and don’t give in early. Keep your body on a schedule and it will be much easier to return to it after the holidays die down!
Take advantage of the down time! We know the food will be all around you – but you will also hopefully have a little more time off work and out of the office. This means you can hit the gym more often during your holiday week or stream a workout in the morning and maybe even a quick one at night! If you find yourself eating more – you can certainly find yourself moving more too. Spend some extra time stretching before & after each session – maybe even while you are watching the “A Christmas Story” marathon on TNT with your family. Find that family member who is also looking to stay healthy and do a workout with them or maybe bundle up and take two laps around the neighborhood after dinner! You will be amazed how working out can also ease some of the stress that comes with being around your entire family 24/7!
It’s all about the side dish! This is an important tip and has worked wonders for my clients. Whether you’re doing the cooking, or somebody in your family is, try and put all the sauces and added salt on the side. This will greatly reduce your caloric intake. When you’re consciously pouring these extras on your plate – you will be aware of it and make smarter decisions. Most cooks don’t mind doing this because everyone is different when it comes to how much they like their meals seasoned or sauced. So get ahead of it and either call up your family cook in advance and ask that they side out the extras or if you’re the cook – plan to do this in advance. Here’s an extra tip for you – if you’re asking someone to do this, maybe bring a new fancy side bowl collection as a holiday gift and then they can use these in their food display. It’s a nice way to reward them for going the extra mile!
Go ahead – get juicy! One of my biggest go-to’s: The ginger juice. I can’t even begin to tell you how this has saved me over the years. If I’m going to be drinking or eating excessively, ginger is the drink that cures the aftereffects when you’re really feeling the pain. Take a handful of fresh cut up ginger, add some water & ice, blend it up, and strain through it a cheese cloth. This is to be consumed before the meal or the night out. For me, it only works if I drink A LOT OF JUICE. Think about 4-6 big glasses and it needs to be so spicy to the point where it’s very hard to drink. I start in the morning and sip it all day long. For me this is the ultimate cleanse for my digestive system.
Give Me Some Sugar! Everyone deserves a little dessert sometime. If you completely starve yourself of sugar – you will end up binge eating an entire chocolate cake one lonely evening and then all bets are off. But I am strategic when it comes to my sweets – meaning, I don’t just waste them on any ol’ dessert. Think about it – over the holidays, you know who makes the killer sweets and who just swings by the grocery store to pick up some packaged cookies with sprinkles. So, I only indulge on the good stuff. For instance – I LOVE my grandma’s brownies. They are my favorite and I dream about them sometimes. But my aunt typically brings over a cake that I can take or leave (Sorry Aunt Betty!). So, I don’t waste the calories on dishes or sweets that aren’t worth it. But my grandma’s brownies – yep, definitely worth it. Every time. So, if none of the desserts sitting on the dining room table are worth it, but your sweet tooth is screaming for attention – grab a piece or two of dark chocolate and call it a day (dark chocolate is pretty good for you)!
I hope those tips will keep you on track and take away some of the stress that comes with holiday eating. At the end of the day, it’s all about walking in prepared and using common sense. Let me know how my tips worked for you this month – and enjoy the holidays and time with your family. You’ve earned it!
Post by Stephen PasterinoHi, I'm P, founder of P.volve. I'm passionate about fitness, wellness, and all of the healthy lifestyle choices in between. Get more out of your workouts by staying up to date with our Blog, where I share all of my fitness secrets.
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