Happy Holidays Reader!
It’s December 1st again. Do you think we can get through it without the obligatory 10 pounds we pack on each year between Thanksgiving and New Years? Let’s try. Here are some tried and true tips to help. It doesn’t have to be a miserable December, nor does it have to be a miserable January!
Party On Your Plate
Offer to bring the salad. Choose one that’s heavy on the veggies, light on the fat and pretty on the platter. You are in control at the office potluck!
Fill half of your plate with the salad you brought or if you are aren’t asked to bring anything, fill it with veggies that are not covered in cream or other choice fats. Most parties do have a healthy option. Your job is to fill half of that plate with the healthy option. The other half is for the rest of your meal AND dessert. In other words, whatever you fit on the plate is all you eat at the party and it includes the ending.
Few drinks scream holidays like Egg Nog. However, if you can manage to refrain, please do yourself that favor. One cup of this popular drink has 343 calories and 19 grams of fat. Don’t stop there, it also packs 21 grams of sugar. On the bright side, it has 10 grams of protein. This would be in the not worth it category for me. If you must, limit your serving to half cup and don’t have some at EVERY party. Set limits and stick to them.
Alcohol consumption is to the waist line what a toddler is to a white shirt. Disaster! Not only for the calories you consume with the drink, but the calories you consume when your inhibitions are down can be just as hazardous. If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, I am a big fan of moderation and not so much a fan of eliminating something entirely. You can drink responsibly in more ways than one.
Limit the number of beverages you have and stick to it.
Avoid the really sweet and fruity drinks, as well as tonic and martinis.
Choose these instead: red wine, darker beers.
Have one glass of ice water after every single alcoholic beverage and before you have another.
Watch your pour; a 3oz glass of wine is a bit different from a 6oz glass and some glasses make it hard to tell how much is in them.
Last, but not least, skip the coffee after the meal, unless you drink it black. It adds up fast!
Remember the reason for the party. You are there to be with friends and family. Remembering to keep focused on the social aspect will keep you from grazing. As soon as we are left standing alone at a party, most of us head straight for the food. Have a strategy. Walk up to someone and introduce yourself or walk outside for some fresh air, but do yourself a favor and stay away from the food table.
Dress for the Occasion
This may seem a bit odd, but it works for me every time. If you head to a party in clothes that are tight-fitting, you will eat less. It might be the reminder you need. That snug fitting dress or dress shirt will even keep you from over consuming alcoholic beverages. Especially those that make you feel bloated, like beer can sometimes do.
Our first instinct is to run another mile, but the truth is, the fat burning, metabolism revving activity you need is strength training. During the month of December, increase your strength training by one day a week. Add in that extra day and you will be AMAZED at how slim you are at the end of the month compared to last year.
This does not mean eat more.
Also, try adding in a 30-second, give your absolute all, jump rope set at the beginning, middle and end of the workout. Give it your all means jump rope as hard and fast as you can without stopping for 30-seconds. Your heart rate will spike, that is what you want. Then go on with your workout.
Work out for a minimum of 30-minutes and try to work hard the entire time. If you’re not pushing yourself, you should be. Better yet, hire a trainer for the month. Push yourself for one more half hour each week and you will be thankful.
Here is a list of things to avoid if you can. Some of us eat things during the holiday because of habit and it doesn’t necessarily mean we like them all that much.
- spinach and artichoke dip
- pecan pie
- cheese straws
- Swedish meatballs
- prime rib
- dark poultry meat
- candied yams, sweet potato casserole
- cranberry sauces
Splurge on these instead:
- the things you do absolutely LOVE
- salads, but watch the ingredients and dressings
- cut fresh veggies with humus
- sliced hard cheeses with whole wheat crackers
- white meat turkey
- oatmeal raisin cookies