The road from October 31 to January 1 can be tough for those of us who have to work a bit harder to maintain a healthy BMI. During this period, Smarties and minature candy bars beckon, egg nog and hot apple cider find their way into your glass, Grandma’s turkey and dressing magically appear on your plate, and pies haunt your dreams…
Hey… This is me. I get it. But we can make it through this and we can do so with grace and deliciousness.
You don’t have to give up all of your favorites during the holidays. And although it’s a fun low-calorie novelty, ThinkGeek’s Thanksgiving Dinner Gumballs (left) probably won’t take the place of dinner next Thursday.
I’m down four pounds putting me at 175, still ten away from my preferred weight. I’ve gone back to cutting way back on “white foods,” decreasing portions overall, and I’ve increased cardio and weight training. Nothing else works for me. I’m hosting Thanksgiving so it’s basically planning two dinners: One for everyone else and what I’m going to allow myself to eat. I’ll likely have a plate of turkey breast, baked sweet potato, and greens…
Here are some great ways to cope with the holiday season and avoid holiday heft. Stick with me and you’ll be able fit into your clothes when you’re standing in your closet to figure out what to where to a New Year’s Eve party next month.
Avoid office snack traps
Work can be a minefield of fat-, sugar- and calorie-laden treats during the holidays. Whether it’s the homemade cookies or the sinfully delicious rum balls your colleague brings in every year, it can be tough to resist all of the goodies that crop up in cubicles and office kitchens this time of year.
Instead of being a double-fisted eater, be sure you have a pen or a book with you when you go survey the goodies. That will make it a little bit easier to resist puttng a cookie in each hand. If you do indulge, make it worth every calorie and only do it once. Have the wedding cookie, but not five. Enjoy a slice of pie, but make sure it’s not two or three servings.
Get creative with your workout
I know you’re busy and there are days when it doesn’t seem to be any time to juggle it all. But you can sneak in workouts throughout the day, even if you can’t make it to the gym. Do squats in your office while you’re on a conference call. (Yes, I’ve done that. Yes, people might stare. They’ll get over it and your rump will be fab.) Take an exercise ball into work and sit on that throughout the day. Doing so will engage your core, burn calories and even help you improve your posture. When you go to the mall, park as far away from the store and powerwalk your way across the lot. Every step counts.
On the weekends or to prep for guests, crank up your favorite playlist and get moving while you clean. I think I burn more calories when I clean than I do when I hit the gym. If you weight 150 lbs, you can burn 238 calories mopping the floors in your home. Not too shabby.
Don’t overdo the drinks
Many people forget about all of the calories they consume in beverages. It’s as if they don’t think it counts if you don’t have to chew. One serving of egg nog can have 343 calories, 19 grams of fat and 34 grams of carbs (with 21 of those being sugars).
Go easy on the creamy, chocolatey drinks and stick to low-calorie options like wine spritzers, vodka (or gin) and diet cranberry ginger ale, or red wine.
Spoil your appetite
That’s right. I’m suggesting that you eat before you go to a holiday party or dinner party. Low-fat, low-calories options such as vegetable soups, crudite or whole grains can fill you up keep you from rushing the antipasti and dessert trays when you get to the party. (Avoid anything that will make you bloated though. You still want to look nice and feel comfortable.) Plan ahead and it will be easier to make healthy choices when you get to the party. It’s kind of like having the Debbie Downer with you when you go out with your girlfriends. Debbie is handy because she doesn’t mind watching your purse while you dance and she keeps the creepy guys at bay. A healthy, filling snack before you head out does the same thing for your waistline.