Today we are looking at ways to avoid the top three holiday traps – endless grazing, the sugar extravaganza, and dropping your exercise routine. Sound restrictive? So is being chained to the buffet table.
Set a few good habits now, then relax and have a blast. You’ll thank yourself later.
Endless Grazing (and Sipping) at Parties
Munch. Drink. Chat. Munch some more. Try a couple of desserts. Notice something savory you missed earlier. Talk. Laugh. Time for another cocktail… You know the drill.
Indulging a bit around the holidays is a glorious thing and we are fortunate to have more food than we need. But stuffing yourself every time you encounter a holiday spread makes your calorie intake skyrocket. In addition, mixing alcohol with sweet, salty and fatty treats can do a number on your digestive system.
How to Avoid it:
1) Eat before the party.
If you arrive at a party ravished, you will quickly abandon all goals of moderation. Eat a healthy and balanced meal beforehand. Short on time? Keep some nuts, protein bars and water in the car for hectic days. At the party, have a little nibble then relax with your favorite drink instead of camping out by the food table.
2) Set an eating window.
With buffet-style dining, set a 10-15 minute eating window. Make yourself a balanced plate – heavy on the raw vegetables – then go and mingle once you’ve finished.
3) Keep alcohol in check.
To keep your alcohol consumption in control, have an alternative in mind. How about sparkling water with lemon in a wine glass? Or dare to be different by bringing your own tea bag and asking the host for a mug of hot water.
No Time to Work Out
Exercise helps with calorie control and happens to be the world’s best stress reliever. Another perk – working out increases circulation giving your skin that sought-after glow.
All of these benefits could serve us well during the holiday rush. So why is exercise often the first thing to go?
How to Avoid it:
1) Schedule your workouts.
Sunday night, when you’re taking a look at your week, pencil in some times to get a sweat in! Never look at exercise as a waste of time. With your energy levels increased, you’ll be able to tackle your to-do list more efficiently.
2) Walk at the mall.
If you need to make a trip to the mall, arrive 30 minutes before the stores open and window shop while you take a brisk walk!
The Continuous Flow of Sugar
Pumpkin lattés, eggnog, cookies, party punch, alcohol (that turns right into sugar)… One thing is for sure. No one has to seek out sweets during the winter months!
But talk about inflammation and a suppressed immune system (right before flu season!) That’s exactly what you will get if you don’t pull the reins in.
How to Avoid it:
1) Plan your indulgences.
Spontaneity is healthy and good, but when you’ve got sugar flying at you from every direction for months on end, a little planning is in order.
At the beginning of the week (when you are planning your workouts!) take a look at your social engagements and decide when you will indulge and how much. This doesn’t have to be anything formal and inflexible, just a little visualization to help you stay on track.
Maybe it’s that holiday party on Thursday evening or a family potluck on Saturday. Keep those splurges to once a week and you’ll keep the pounds from creeping in. Plus, you’ll enjoy the splurge even more!
2) Remake your holiday favorites.
Try my nourishing pumpkin pie recipe which happens to be lower in sugar. And look out for my healthier eggnog recipe coming soon to the blog. It’s divine!