By: Rikki Cortese
The holidays, such a wonderful time of year, yet can be so stressful!
All of the parties, entertaining, dining out, and added stress from shopping, wrapping, organizing can easily add those unwanted pounds to your waistline. Do you remember how you felt on January 2nd? Follow these steps and we can guarantee you will be looking and feeling your best straight into the new year.
The key is to practice MODERATION and PREPARATION. You never want to deprive yourself, but also don’t want to binge out and go totally crazy. When something is off limits, that’s when you want it the most. This helps to avoid that all or nothing mindset.
Long-term success will come when you practice enjoying the things you love in MODERATION and when you PREPARE. Failure to plan is planning to fail!
1. Start your day with a balanced breakfast. A meal containing protein and fiber will help balance your blood sugar and leave you feeling satiated. Then eat as you normally would throughout the day.
2. Eat BEFORE. Plan your day so you eat before you shop, or attend a party and carry a healthy snack in your bag just in case. The last thing you want to do is show up starving. Have a filling, healthy snack before leaving and you won’t feel as tempted to induldge in the first appetizer you see or as anxious to grab the candies, cookies and sweets luring you in at the checkout line. I usually have ameal replacement shake in the car on the way to festivities.
Snack examples: Seasonal fruit like an apple or pear with string cheese, raw veggies (carrots, radishes, broccoli florets) with hummus, a side salad with light dressing, air-popped popcorn, Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese with fruit, a couple slices of lean deli meat, handful of mixed nuts, or a high-fiber protein bar.
3. B.Y.O.S. Bring your own healthy snack or side dish to the party you’re attending. Set yourself up for success, that way you know you have a guaranteed “go-to.”
4. Snack Smartly. Upon arrival, scan the food choices first before diving in. Fill your plate with veggies and protein first. Munching away mindlessly on appetizers can quickly add up in calories. Make yourself a small appetizer plate roughly the size of a cocktail napkin, and try to limit your party food intake to whatever you can fit on that plate. That doesn’t mean go back for seconds either 😉
YAY: Choose raw veggies like celery, carrots, cucumber, and broccoli; marinated veggies like olives, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers; fruit such as grapes, apples, pears, pineapple, and citrus; and possibly some lean deli meats like ham, turkey, and roast beef.
NAY: Mini sausages, salami, pepperoni, pastrami, chips, crackers, and pretzels are all higher in calories, so limit those to half of your little plate. Try not to overdo the cheese and nut platters either.
5. Sip & Savor. Stick with one drink and enjoy in moderation. Start your event with a couple glasses of water. Continue drinking water during the festivities, and between drinks especially if you’re consuming alcohol. Guys, limit yourselves to 1-3 drinks; ladies, 1-2 drinks.
6. Plan on eating the things you love. Knowing that you cannot and will not skip out of your favorites, work around the rest of your meal. Maybe have a little less gravy and stuffing so you can make room for the pie.
7. Sleep & Stay Hydrated. The most obvious are often the most neglected. Both affect fat loss. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily and get a good night’s rest.
8. Move Your Body. If you can’t get in a regular workout, go for a walk or fit in a quick body weight circuit, especially the day before and day after.
For example: squat jumps, push-ups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, etc.
9. Share the Leftovers. Gather up some tupperwear and give away the leftovers that evening. Out of site out of mind. OR you could make turkey soup from the leftover turkey (one of my favorites)!
10. It’s just one day. Don’t be too hard on yourself and go down the vicious cycle of guilt. It’s totally ok if you slip up and indulge more than planned. Acknowledge, accept and move on. The next meal is always a new opportunity to get right back on track.
11. ENJOY yourself. We can get so caught up with all the tasks and to-do’s that we forget to stay present in the moment. Remember the meaning of the holidays and cherish every moment with family and friends.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Butter Lettuce
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Delicata Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
- Swiss Chard
- Collard Greens