It’s truly the “most wonderful time of the year” as you enjoy holiday celebrations with family and friends. Nothing perks up those parties like a spread of food, a feast for the belly and the eyes to behold! However, you might find that all those events contribute to unwanted pounds that you have spent weeks or even months diligently working off. The following 16 tips can help you keep your eating on track during the holidays so that you can keep on track with your fitness goals even when delicious food abounds.
These six general tips can apply almost any time of the year but are great reminders during the holidays.
Your mother was right—breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Additionally, studies show that you aren’t as likely to overeat when you eat breakfast. This also kick-starts your metabolism, which helps your body burn more calories.
Snacks at Work
During the holidays, all kinds of treats mysteriously seem to appear at the office, at your desk, in the reception area or in the break room. Keep these out of sight to avoid the temptation of having them sitting right under your nose. Better yet, put them in a spot where you have to walk to eat any. Bring healthy options from home so that you have better options handy. Make yourself climb a flight of stairs or walk around the building before you eat a treat. Drink some water to cut down on your hunger.
Document what You Eat in a Diary
When you write down what you eat, you can better track your food intake. Just the act of documenting what you consume can help you be more mindful. Be brutally honest or your food diary won’t be effective.
Eat Scheduled Meals
With the crazy pace of the holidays, eating often takes second place to shopping, visiting, errands and general running around in preparation. Your metabolism can get out of kilter. Try to stay on a regular schedule of eating meals and snacks as usual so that you don’t lose energy or become overtired. Your body will thank you later.
Continue to drink water to keep yourself hydrated, help our body maintain its peak condition and to flush your system of toxins and waste. If water seems too boring, try herb tea or even seltzer with a piece of fruit added. Remember that too much soda and caffeine will dehydrate you over the long haul as will alcohol. If you do imbibe in adult beverages, up your water intake to help rehydrate.
While it seems counterintuitive, do what you can to limit stress. Stress increases cortisol levels, which add fat to your belly. If you do overeat, just focus on getting back on track the next day. Don’t beat yourself up about one bad day. You will do better tomorrow.
Parties present their own temptations when it comes to holiday eating. These 10 tips will help you navigate the most tempting buffet table or dinner with confidence so that you don’t sabotage your healthy eating plans.
Snack before the Party
Grab a healthy snack before you go to that holiday celebration. If you aren’t starving when you arrive, you can exercise restraint when it comes to all those calorie-laden foods.
Eat throughout the Day
If you skip meals before that holiday smorgasbord, you might overeat at the party. Instead, opt for whole grains, veggies and fruit to keep your metabolism operating at its best.
Fill Up on Low-Calorie Foods First
Once you arrive at the party, opt for raw veggies and go easy on the dip. Eat broth-based hot soup. Ask for a salad with the dressing on the side so that you can control the portion amount.
Bring a Dish to Share
Fix your favorite healthy dish to take to the gathering and to share with others so that everyone can enjoy a nutritious option.
Take Your Time Eating
Savor each bite of your food. Chew slowly so that you can concentrate on what you are eating instead of inhaling your food in minutes. Take breaks when you are conversing so that you eat intentionally. Wait for about 10 minutes before you ask for seconds to make sure that you are truly hungry and not just consuming food mindlessly.
Don’t Deprive Yourself
Build a treat day into your week, especially during the holidays. Vary the treat day, depending on when you have parties to attend. If you have several parties in a row to attend, allow yourself two to three bites of dessert or treat foods at each event as an alternative. This will add up to one treat day. Again, be sure to savor each bite so that you don’t overeat.
Eat a Mint or Chew Gum
When you feel full, eat a mint or chew a piece of mint gum. The flavoring helps curb your appetite and helps keep you from continuing to eat when you are already full.
Choose Your Treat Foods
Consciously think about the treat foods you want and then intentionally choose those. For example, set a maximum of three or four cookies, even on your treat day. Decide what kind of cookies you want or if you’d rather substitute a piece of cheesecake or chocolates instead.
Go Easy on the Alcohol
The calories from alcoholic beverages add up quickly, easily ranging from 100 to 200 calories per glass of wine or bottle of beer. Limit your alcohol consumption. Never drink and drive and assign a designated driver to do your part to keep everyone in your circle of friends safe.
Last Tip: Keep up with Your Workouts
This might be the most important tip of all as regular workouts at your local gym for women during the holidays will jumpstart your New Year’s resolution.
Even though your holiday schedule is extra hectic, attend at least two workouts a week. Try some of our trendy fitness classes, such as trapeze flow, barre above, cardio kickboxing and more, to spice up your exercise routine. You can bring the kids for up to 90 minutes of complimentary childcare at our women’s fitness boutique each day.