1) Prioritize Exercises: Exercise in the morning (or when you have the most energy) and add an extra walk or workout in on days when you know you have a party or will be engaging in lots of indulgent eating. If you only have a short amount of time (I know this is a busy time of the year), do a more intense work out (faster or steeper) to max out the benefits of your workout. I feel that, especially at this time of year, working out is key. I am not a fan of denying yourself any of your favorite holiday treats, but to just keep moving, so you can make room in your stomach for more!
2) Try to maintain "normal" eating as much as possible: If you have a party that night or go out for brunch in the morning, DON'T deny or starve yourself before or after the event. Instead try to eat as "normal" as possible with good nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. The more you starve or deny yourself the more you will over eat the indulgent foods.
3) Choose "special" foods to indulge on: Don't waste your time with foods you can eat anytime (like a donut from DD's), but instead treat yourself to a homemade pie or your favorite side dish a relative makes or your favorite holiday beverage. If you are going to indulge, MAKE IT COUNT!
4) Enhance family favorites: As you plan your meals and treats for the holiday season, look for creative ways to cut calories and boost nutrients in your favorite recipes.
- Spice sweet potatoes with nutmeg and cinnamon rather than brown sugar.
- Make sure to prepare a few vegetable dishes, such as roasted Brussels sprouts, sautéed spinach and garlic or an arugula salad.
- Use dried fruit for half the chocolate chips in cookies and pumpkin or banana bread.
- Cut cookies and bars into smaller bite size pieces
5) Control Alcohol Consumption: Most events that you attend this season will include alcohol beverages; you do not have to omit drinking (unless you want to), but instead try to keep the alcohol consumption to two drinks throughout the night and alternate with water. In addition, MAKE IT COUNT the drinks you choose. Don't just drink Bud Light because it is there (unless you like it), save the calories for a drink you really, really enjoy.
6) Get off the "See Food Diet: We see it, we want to eat it. This time of year, the "See Food Diet" consists of cookies, pastries, candies and fudge. Not to mention all of the leftovers, gifts and party favors. Change what you see, and you will change your body.
- Bring a beautiful bowl of fruit into the office.
- Place a bowl of nuts on the shell on your desk. You'll eat fewer when you have to crack them open yourself.
- Put cut veggies front and center in the fridge; use hummus or herbed ricotta as a healthy dip.
- Always bring a healthy option to dinners, parties and potlucks.
- Gift your office or home with an opaque candy dish or cookie jar. When you don't see it, you're less likely to eat the treat.
- Get rid of leftovers. If you throw a party, clean out the house the next day. Host a dinner? Send everyone home with leftovers or have a "part 2 dinner" the next night.
7) Have FUN and ENJOY yourself!!! The holidays only come once a year!!!
In light of tip #1, I did a lot of moving (and eating) this holiday: Thursday I ran 4.5 miles, Friday I walked 3.5 miles with my mom, Saturday I ran 6.7 miles and today I did a 90 minute hot yoga class.
Hope everyone had a nice vacation; back to the grind tomorrow.....