T’is the season for cookies, egg nog, parties and alcohol. With so many temptations around, it seems absolutely impossible to lose weight and stay fit during the Holiday season. That is why most people put it off until after the New Year. You know how it goes “New year, new you” except that motto only lasts about a week and you are back to your regular routine because you have taught yourself that you can always do things later. The truth is you can only do things now, and if you can survive the Holiday season and lose a little weight, then you can make it through the rest of the year, getting in shape and finally losing those pounds that you have been wanting to lose for ages. Firsts things first, don’t tell yourself “no.” Don’t resolve to have “no Holiday” goodies because you will fall into a deep hole of depression and eat up all your feelings. Allow yourself some indulgences. If you go to a party or family gathering, have things you have never had before but don’t go munching on the stuff you could make/buy yourself… Like Holiday Oreos or something. Also, plan ahead. If you know you are going to a Holiday gathering, either eat something before hand and resolve only to have a small dessert and/or one alcoholic drink. Or don’t eat at all before you go and allow yourself to indulge a little bit. Either way is fine. Just don’t eat at home, and then eat a whole other meal while you are out. This is whatever you feel comfortable doing… there is no “this is the right way.” Each person is different. Another thing you can do is bring a low calorie dish with you to the party. Then you know at least one thing there is somewhat healthy and won’t make you feel gross the next morning. The number one thing you can do to avoid munching all night is to make sure you don’t just stand around the snack table. Socialize! Get involved in another activity or conversation. If you are not having fun at the party and find yourself way to tempted by the food, leave. Thank the host/hostess and scram. It doesn’t mean you aren’t a fun awesome person. It means a lot that you even showed your face, and it means even more that you care enough about your body to leave.
If you have one night of reckless eating/drinking, don’t let is sabotage your whole entire week. Just watch what you eat and exercise throughout the week. Count calories. Drink lots of water. One night is not going to ruin everything so don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s the constant nomming down on Christmas Cookies every night while watching marathons of Holiday movies that will add on the extra pounds. My advice… don’t keep cookies around. If you love baking cookies, bake them for other people or make enough for you to have one and everyone else to take home and devour. And as much as it seems like a crime, you can throw junk food away! If people give you candy and you can’t find someone else to take it off your hands, then get rid of it some other way. You don’t need the temptation within your sight!
Exercise. Especially the days you are planning on indulging. Even if it is a “rest day.” Make a different day that week be your rest day. Get that metabolism up and do something! You won’t feel so guilty after that rich meal knowing you sweated off some calories earlier in the day. I don’t even care if it is just a one mile jog/walk around the block. Just do something.
Laugh. Remember what this season is all about. It is not about the food and presents. It is about family, friends and laughter! And let me tell you, laughing is a great way to burn off some extra calories too. After a nice meal, break out a funny game like “Quelf,” “Apples to Apples,” or “Cards Against Humanity.” Anything that will make you laugh and could even make you active too! Games like charades or Cranium are all good ones too. I know you won’t feel motivated at first but it really will make a difference. I truly believe it was because of Quelf that I hardly gained any Thanksgiving weight! 3+ hours of laughing and doing stupid silly stuff is quite the cardio!
Whatever you do, don’t put the weight loss off until New Years Day. Don’t let December be the month of excuses to eat whatever you want and make empty promises that you will do better come January. Because the truth is, most people don’t. Challenge yourself. Start today. You can lose weight during the holidays!
Things That Work For Me…
I only have a couple drinks on one day of the weekend. And it is normally just a couple weekends and not every single one of them.
I limit myself to one plate of food. If it doesn’t fit, I don’t eat it. I don’t go back for seconds.
I do something active every single day. Some times it is not a huge work out like jogging, but I do something. I also include running around shopping as exercising! Just as long as a majority of my day was doing something physical and being on my feet. If you have spent 8+ hours on your butt, you need to get up and do something else.
I have other people taste my baked goods. If it is something I have been really wanting to try (or is something new that I have never done before), I may try a bite or have a small taste. Then I give it away or promise the goodies to others.
Instead of drinking the full calorie version of Egg Nog, I actually get the Silk version. Only 70 calories per cup, has the similar taste (though unfortunately not as thick), and definitely gets the craving out of the way.
Make lower calorie version of your favorite dishes. Instead of mashed potatoes, I totally recommend mashed cauliflower! Sometimes I almost prefer the cauliflower version!
And that is pretty much how I survive the Holiday Season!