Get ready! Cause here come the Holidays!!
You might have mixed emotions about the Holidays. There are so many fun events to participate in, but why do they all include food and drinks that will ruin your midline?!
Do you equate each Holiday with the food that you eat?
Halloween – pumpkin everything all October, ending with a bucket full of Trick or Treat candy.
Thanksgiving – butter latten food followed by pie and ice cream, plus drinking.
The Holidays – office party followed by friends’ parties followed by family gatherings… ending with Santa who stuffs nothing but sugar down your stocking.
New Years – more good fun, dancing and lots of drinking.
There is approximately three months of nothing but calorie rich, nutrient poor foods in your face day after day. It can be a really hard time of year to keep the pounds off.
But not only can you kept the weight off, you can learn how to enjoy yourself more with these simple tips to keep you focused!
First of all, DO NOT feel guilty about indulging on a holiday.
Hold the guilt please.
This is the enjoyment part.
If you close your eyes and meditate on your ideal life, doesn’t that include eating good food and celebrating with your friends? The holidays are a perfect opportunity to enjoy life little pleasures.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to eat a homemade apple or pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream and whip cream. So do it. New Years is the perfect time to toast with champagne. Do it. Don’t ever feel guilty for enjoying these moments to the fullest by consuming some calories.
Only the Holiday counts!
Really if you only indulge ON the Holiday day itself, that’s only once a month that you are going overboard. If you are eating healthy everyday, than once a month is not a big deal. If you are consistently eating lean meats, lots of vegetables, whole grains most of the days of the month… then having treats on one day of the month is not going to ruin your stride.
Be Consistent on ALL the other Calendar Days
It is being consistently healthy the rest of the month that counts.
I find especially hard when I go grocery shopping. I want to buy all the extra snacks and desserts that go along with that month’s Holiday. I also find it hard to not indulge every day at the office when officemates bring donuts on Friday. It’s hard to pass up the candy bowl on that one Reception desk.
These types of daily activities are where you need to be consistent in your choices not to over consume calories. Worry about October 1st through 30th, and then have some guilty free fun on Halloween.
Have a Plan
If you are trying to lose weight it is essential that you have plan. More specifically a Meal Plan that keeps you in a calorie deficient. You should be burning more calories than you are consuming in food and drink. You can find calorie calculators and meal plans online everywhere.
I love Jillian Michaels no b.s. approach to exercise, dieting and meal plans. The best result I have every gotten were on her Shred program. You can find out more about her below.
Exchange Your Cheat Meals for Holiday Treats
Your meal plan should also include the occasional cheat meal, so you do not feel deprived of your favorite foods. Generally, I do most of my cheating on weekends with drinks, and sometimes with desserts. I try to limit myself to two or three cheats a week.
If you know you have a certain day and time as a usual cheat meal, then switch you cheat meal that week for a specific holiday treat. For instance, Halloween is on a Wednesday this year. Instead of having my cheat meal on Saturday that weekend, I will have it on Wednesday for Halloween. The Saturday before Halloween, I will be skip that cheat meal and know that I am ahead for the holiday.
Now the holiday includes your normal weekly cheat meal. That’s even less guilt for you to deal with you. You so earned this treat!!
Realizing that you will have to still be moderate in what you indulge in, you can be picky. For instance, I like to stay away from all processed candy, but I do love to indulge in baked goods.
Be the driver in your life. Decide on something and make it happen. If you really want apple pie, then make sure you have it at Thanksgiving dinner. But the person who brings the apple pie. If you really want a Pumpkin Spiced Latte as your cheat meal one week in October, then go out a get it.
Feel proud that you were consistent with a healthy diet the whole week, and now you get to indulge in your weekly treat. Free proud that you sticked to your meal plan all months, and now you get to have your Holiday treat.
Keep to your Grocery List
The hardest part of keeping to your diet during the holidays is the pumpkin spiced, peppermint and chocolate explosion in the grocery store. Every year during October our grocery bill is $100 extra, because I want ALL the pumpkin spiced food. Are you’re like me and want to buy all the pumpkin things?
Try to limit yourself to just one extra treat per grocery store trip. For instance, this year I limited myself to only buying one pumpkin spiced treat at the grocery store. This new habit literally saved bye $93 and 10 extra pounds.
throw it out
You do not have to eat all the candy you recieve. Yes, you could throw away most of what you receive. Put that sugar filled, empty calories in the trash. Or re-gift the treats, if it suits. But DO NOT feel obligated to eat everything you are offered. This includes trick or treat candy on Halloween and fruit cake during the holidays.
As the weather gets colder, drink warming teas helps you to feel in the holiday mood. One of my favorites in peppermint green tea in the afternoon. The peppermint is good for digestion, plus a little kick of caffeine to keep you in the shopping mood.
Bring The Other Bubbles
If you are going to a holiday party where lots of champagne will be served, try bringing different kinds of bubbles to indulge in. You can have carbonated mineral water or sezler water instead. My favorite is La Croix, and I’m definitely bringing a 12ver with me to holiday parties.
beware of the booze
Alcohol is nothing buy empty calories, and all the sugar in them makes you crave more alcohol. Alcohol also lowers your inhibitions. Again, making you more likely to consume more food and drink. As well as, maybe embarrass yourself at the office holiday party.
When you go to a party, try to go as long as possible without having a drink. The longer you delay that first drink, the less you will drink later. Another method you can try is: having a glass of water in-between drinks.
If you are driving do not have more than one drink. Or, better yet, volunteer to be the designated driver. If you are not driving, you can try to have a two drink minimum rule.
Plan fun Winter activities
Ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, broomball… there are so many fun winter activities for the whole family to enjoy. Find an activity your family loves to do, and make it a tradition. My friends and I loved to go ice-skating every year. My family now loves to go sledding on my property.
Ditch Traditions that Don’t Serve You
Every year I would make holiday cookies as presents. Every year I would host a cookie decorating party. And every year I would gain about 10 pounds during the holiday. So I decided to ditch these traditions for healthier versions.
There are so many other homemade crafts I could make and gift to family. My girlfriends will still want to come over for a holiday craft party. It doesn’t matter so much what we are doing. What matter is that we are together having fun!
Some ideas for new healthy traditions are:
- pumpkin craving
- go to a craft fair
- making candles
- making ornaments
- cooking health holiday treats
- volunteering at a local non-profit
Make Healthy Holiday Snacks
Find holiday recipes that are healthy you like to make. One year I tried to make a Christmas Tree out of broccoli and other vegetables. I found the recipe on Pinterest and totally FAILED IT when my Christmas leaned like the Tower of Pisa. I didn’t make that recipe again.
But I do usually try to find a healthy casserole or well flavored veggies to bring to a holiday potluck party. Try making something that is hearty, savory and feeds a lot of people.
Protein keeps you satiated. Bonus, it helps with muscle gains. When picking what to put on your plate, pick protein first. Pile it up, so that you want less sugaring stuff later.
Use Smaller Plates
When ever you find yourself at a potluck or dinner party, use a smaller plate to fill up. Your brain will see less white space on your plate and think the plate is full.
Hold off on Seconds
If you’re hungry for a second plate, try drinking a glass of water first. Distract yourself with conversion, or a holiday game.
Keep Up with Cardio
Try doing more cardio or HIIT exercises during the Winter. It will keep you warm while you work out, and help burn off more calories. Try to exercise early in the morning, so that you have time to shop after work.
Realize that the Holidays are meant to be enjoyed. You can indulge in some holiday food by staying on course with your regular diet during these cold months. Practice these tips during the months of October, November and December and then you can enjoy the holidays that they include.
What else do you like to do during the Holiday season to keep off the pounds? Leave a comment below.