These are a few tips I've lived by for a couple of weeks now, and I really encourage them! I am by no means a licensed trainer or a professional in anything fitness-related, so please don't feel you are reading God-given words on fitness. This is just what I've gathered by research and personal experience!
5 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays
and Not Gain the Holiday Weight:
1) Get to the gym!In the last week and a half, I've consumed anywhere between 1700-2500 calories daily (well above what I normally like to consume), due to holiday parties and festive food, etc. Because I knew I was packing on the calories, I hit the gym 7 times in the last 9 days, doing a solid hour of cardio each time. And a couple of those days, I also went on a 30-45 minute walk outside with my husband. All of my efforts didn't just help me keep weight off: I lost a couple pounds! I'm only telling you this to say that CARDIO WILL SAVE YOU! Don't think that a week or two (or three, or four, or the whole month of December) of poor eating won't come back to haunt you. It will! And your skinny jeans will laugh at you from the back of the closet.
|Me at a work party with a co-worker.|
2) Choose the foods you eat during the holidays wisely!
You don't have to have a little bit of everything you see at each party. If you want to indulge, choose just a few items that you absolutely love and have modest portions of them. Why add a heaping pile of green bean casserole to your plate when you honestly don't even like it that much? You can easily pack on hundreds of calories by just trying something you barely like or are just eating because it's there. The best things to fill your plate with are lean meats (chicken and turkey, rather than pork or beef) and veggies (ones preferably not smothered in butter or a sauce, however, buttered veggies > 8 slices of cheesecake..duh). Pasta and dinner rolls and things like that are likely to weigh you down but not necessarily fill you up. Also, don't eat one of every dessert available: pick your favorite, and stick with a modest portion of it.
3) Watch what you drink!
I know, I'm ruining all your fun. But alcoholic beverages are obviously full of sugar, carbs and calories. So are sodas. I don't even have to tell you this, but obviously the best drink you can have is water. It will aid digestion, prevent bloating and help keep some of that weight off! Sip on water all day if you can. The more water you drink, the more it will fill you up and help pass the food you're eating. I'll be honest and tell you I plan on sneaking a Diet Coke in here or there, which I cannot in good conscious tell you is good for you by any stretch, but it's zero calories, carbs, sugar, everything. In my opinion, if I'm gonna add an extra 140 calories to my meal, it better be in the form of a really delicious cookie, not a soda.
|That's water in my hands, my friends! And my lovely blogging friend, Calla. :)|
You don't need them! Honestly, this heavy food is not good to live off of for days. You know how you feel after a week of eating heavy, buttery, oily, sugary foods around the holidays. Lethargic. Like a beached whale. Like you might go into cardiac arrest. Enjoy your meal with your family and friends, but then leave the food with them!
|Me & the other front desk girls giving out office awards. Dundees, anyone?|
5) Plan all other meals ahead of time!
If you know you're going to eat a ton on Christmas day, have healthy, low calorie meals planned for the day before and after. Or if you have family parties Christmas Eve night and Christmas night, start out each day with a light, healthy breakfast and remember to work out! It's all about balance. In the last week and a half, I've had about 3 or 4 days where I was at parties/gatherings where unhealthy food flowed in abundance, and I just made sure that I worked out that day (either before or after festivities), drank tons of water all day, and ate very light and healthy around the holiday meals!
The holidays do not have to be punishment for anyone, in my opinion. You shouldn't have to completely abstain from all things festive and delicious, but you also shouldn't have 5-10 pounds greeting you with the first of the year. Both of those scenarios are awful! These tips have been my happy medium of finding a way to enjoy the holidays without paying for it later. Let me know if you have any healthy holiday tips in the comments! And of course, Merry Christmas!