Surviving the Holidays


Tips for making it though this holiday season!

Many people fear holiday season because of the effects all the added social pressure can place on their workouts and eating habits. After all it almost can seem like we spend 11 months struggling to eat right and stay fit, just to have December roll in and it all the hard work go down the drain. No longer is this time of year just one or two day of excess eating with family and friends, but there’s the office party, your significant other’s holiday party, all the not-so healthy baked goods and chocolate treats your co-workers leave on their desks, after-work drinks, and multiple family gatherings. 3500 calories! It may sound like a lot to consume in excess, but that’s what it takes to add pound of fat to our bodies, but that’s only 500 extra calories per day for a week, which can be as a little as a Grande Eggnog Latte or 4 stuffed puff pastry pieces or 4oz (1/2 Cup) of Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Here are 3 tips to keep you on track this holiday season:

  1. Exercise Early: After-work drinks, Office parties, Holiday Get-togethers can quickly replace those afternoon workouts on calendar leaving your gym bag a distant memory. Take charge of the situation by getting into the gym or going for a run early on in the day. Even 20 minutes a day of intense exercise can make a difference and keep you on track.
  2. Eat Early for Holiday Parties: Planning is key here. First off, don’t feel you have to say yes to every social event that arises during this time of year. We tend to spread ourselves too thin or get carried away with the festivities. When you do have a party to attend make sure you properly plan during the day. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate, to counteract the diuretic effect of alcohol that you may consume. Don’t forget to ease up on the booze. These liquid calories add up quick and the ones from alcohol offer you no help at all. Eat leading up to the event so that you’re not famished and reaching for every puff-ball or shrimp stick passed around on the appetizer tray. By eating before the party you can potentially save yourself 100s if not thousands of calories by enacting a little self-control. If you do eat at the party, say No to those tasty-little puffed pastries. These are laden with butter and filled with cheese, making these little bundles rich in fat and calories. Chicken skewers with sauce on the side make a better option. While the veggie platter is a great option, steer clear of the dips as you never know what’s in there, or who’s double dipped!
  3. Control Yourself at Family Feasts: Remember that the holidays are about family and friends, not stuffing yourself. Save the stuffing for the turkey. Slowdown while your eating and enjoy the conversation. Eating slower often results in eating less. Try to stop eating when you’re no longer hungry versus when you’re stuffed to the brim. This will save you hundreds of calories. Keep the extras off the table so you have to get up to get them rather than continuing to scoop seconds from the table and try use smaller plates to decrease portion sizes. Lastly, get the family up after the meal and go for a walk or skating before dessert to keep the blood flowing and resist the urge to go to sleep immediately after eating.

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