Monday, November 23, 2015

Holiday "Waistline" Survival Guide

It’s that time of year again, ALREADY!!  We all have some sort of Holiday party, family gathering, or maybe vacation coming up. And I know there are a few of you out there who are like me and want to try to make it thru the Holidays without gaining weight..... Well, with a little careful thought and planning, you can avoid holiday weight gain. Here are some things that you can try as your getting prepared for your holiday get together: 

1. Plan ahead!!! 

Planning ahead is KEY anytime it comes to health/fitness.  Think about what the party or get together will be like.... What kind of foods will be there, what are the people going to be like, will there be soda or alcoholic beverages?  Thinking about it and know ahead of time what you will be dealing with will help you stick to a plan.  

2. Portion Control

It's OK to indulge every once in a while, but if you're trying to keep it healthy, portion control is the best way for that.  You can still enjoy the potatoes, noodles, desserts, etc. just limit the amount. Make it a point to have only ONE plate.... Over half of your plate should be filled with meats or veggies, the other half (or less) take advantage of the starchy carbs and dessert.  The "See Your Plate" method works great here... basically make sure you can still see your plate when your finished dishing out your food.   ((** Listen to your breathing. When you sigh or begin to breathe a little deeper, your body has had enough to eat. Listen to the message your body is sending and let it guide you to realize you've had enough)).  Now, if there's alcohol, try sticking with ONE glass, followed by a glass of water. More importantly, focus on enjoying good conversation, not on eating.  

3. Don't starve yourself.

Before an occasion involving food, eat a piece of fruit, a yogurt, or other light snack before you go. This helps to curb hunger so you don’t binge when you’re there. If the event is in the evening, make sure to have a healthy breakfast and lunch.

4. Bring your own dish.

If you're afraid there won't be an healthy options, offer to bring a healthy appetizer. Or, ask to bring a healthy dish to serve at the main meal. This way, you are assured there will be something “safe” to eat. Others will appreciate your efforts, too!

5. Get an accountability partner

Tell a friend what you're doing and make a goal with them to maintain your weight during the holiday season. That way you are accountable to someone other than yourself.

6. Exercise

Sign up for a 5K or some sort of fitness challenge. This will motivate you to focus on exercise and keep your body moving. I've got a couple in mind, if you need suggestions ;)  Besides burning extra calories, exercise can help you cope with stress and depression, which are common for many people during the holidays. Check with your doctor before you increase your activity level.

7. Limit leftovers 

If you are hosting the event, you'll want to try to make your home a safe haven afterwards. Send your guests home with the high-calorie leftovers. There are enough temptations outside the house. There is no need to make your home a difficult place to maintain control.\

8.  Make smart substitutions. 

Practice making your favorite dishes a little healthier.  Cut the sugar by one-third in the recipe.  Use trans-fat-free margarine instead of lard or butter. Use one percent or evaporated skim milk instead of whole milk or cream.  There's almost always a healthy substitute.  

9. Think Logically 

A single day of overeating is NOT going to make or break your eating plan. It takes days of overeating to gain weight. If you overindulge at a holiday meal, put it behind you. Return to your usual eating plan the next day, and leave your guilt behind.

10. Don't forget the reason for the season 

Celebrate the TRUE meaning of the Holiday... Try to give food less importance by focusing on what the holidays are really about and enjoy the time you get to spend with family and friends. :)

I can't believe Thanksgiving is in a few short days... and Christmas isn't far behind!! I hope you all have a great Holiday season!!   

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