Every year, October – December is the time where we stuff our faces and pack on the pounds. Winter may be coming, but we don’t need the extra insulation. It’s hard to say no to delicious cookies, eggnog, festive meals prepared by loved ones, gift baskets full of chocolates, and all our other weaknesses. It’s easy to give in and tell yourself that it’s ok because it’s just this one time. Well it can’t just be this one time, every time we want to splurge, which around the holidays is more frequent. Let’s figure out how we can minimize the weight gain this holiday season.
It’s ok to splurge every once in a while but when you’re eating poorly for every meal that’s when you’ll gain the weight. If you know you’re going to a holiday party on Saturday and it’s going to be a feast of unhealthy options, then be good Monday-Friday, or make a healthy option and bring it! Most hosts will be grateful that you took the time to contribute to their party. If you mess up and are unhealthy at breakfast, don’t let it ruin the rest of the day. Writing down your food intake helps you see what exactly is going in to your body each day. Once you’ve got your meals documented, you can see what the problem areas are, for example, if you’re splurging on lunch 3 days a week and giving in to holiday temptations on the weekend, that’s going to hurt you. Lastly, if you’re dying to have that unhealthy dish, wait until you’re finished with your meal so you don’t overdo it.
When you’re cooking
If you’re in charge of the meal, you can make it healthy and delicious. Turkey is a lean meat that can be very healthy, if you’re not chomping on the skin or frying it. Sweet potatoes (without the marshmallows) are healthier than regular potatoes and making several types of veggie sides is healthy and filling. Also, be sure to steer clear of the rolls, soda, juice, and eggnog because they’re not filling or worth the high calorie/sugar content. Drink your water, because it’s the healthiest option, it’s refreshing, it will curb your appetite, and your body needs it! Mindless snacking is also a killer so plan your snacks each day and opt for fruit or granola. Cooking Light has lots of great healthy holiday recipes, including desserts!
Working out around the holidays is NOT easy. There are a million reasons not to do it, including, family is in town, I’m out of town, I have to get presents, I’m tired, etc. Visiting your family can make it difficult because you want to spend time with the people you love and don’t get to see often. If you can’t find the time to do your usual hour long workout or gym routine, that doesn’t mean you should just say, “forget it, I can’t work out today.” There are plenty of exercises you can do at your mom’s house before anyone even bothers you. Get up a little bit earlier and get in 30 minutes of exercise. You can do push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, leg lifts, squats, triceps dips, yoga, jumping jacks, and lots of other non-equipment exercises to burn calories. You can also check out Healthy.com’s 20 ways to torch 200 calories for some more ideas.