With American Thanksgiving only a week away and Christmas shortly behind it, there are plenty of opportunities for Holiday indulgences to sneak in on our regular healthy eating. Being prepared and proactive before the mayhem even starts will make it easier to not only enjoy the treats of the Holiday, but come out of it without that tired old New Years resolution to lose weight.
Don't skip meals
It may be tempting to not eat breakfast to "make more room for the good stuff" as my cousin says, but this may backfire on you. When you let yourself get too hungry, you may end up eating over indulging in more unhealthy food later on.
Make sure to stick to your normal eating schedule: Breakfast, light snack, lunch and another light snack before you go to the dinner/party. Keep your snacks between 100-150 calories and focus on protein and fiber-rich vegetables. They'll keep you full longer. Eating these foods that will keep you full longer will help you feel less deprived later if you're cutting back on calories at the party too.
Woman's Day has a great ideal pre-party day of eating in their October 2010 issue.
Breakfast: Egg-white omelet (4-5 egg whites) stuffed with tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli or nonstartchy veggies of your choice; an orange or half a grapefruit
Lunch: Large tossed salad with unlimited nonstartchy vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, celery, etc) topped with 5-6 oz chicken or turkey breast or shrimp, and tossed with 2 tbsp light salad dressing
Snack: 1 apple (or orange) and a part-skim string cheese.
Inevitably, most of the food at holiday events are high calorie, and you'll end up eating hor d'oeuvres before dinner, etc. Save your calories for these high ticket items by focusing on eating lean protein (chicken, fish, turkey, etc) and veggies earlier in the day, eating more food with fewer calories. Stay away from fat, sugar and startch as you'll be getting plenty of them later.
Drink lots of water.
Wth all the mayhem of the holidays, it is easy to get dehydrated and often times mild dehydration can be mistaken as hunger. Drink plenty of water before and after a meal. As a general rule, I drink 1-2 glasses of water before a meal. It starts to fill you up before you've even taken your first bite. You'll be less inclined to go back for seconds.
If you do want to go back for seconds, stick to the things that will keep you full longer like lean meats and vegetables. The protein and fiber with stick with you much longer than carbs.
Cocktail parties are a wonderful part of the Holidays, but they can also be full of calorie-laden foods and drinks. Some drinks can easily be as rich as a dessert. It isn't always easy once you get into the Holiday spirit, but try to limit yourself to one or two drinks.
Or alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. my personal favorites is to take club soda or seltzer, add in a splash of cranberry juice and a little lemon zest. It looks like a fun and fancy cocktail, but its much better for you.
Enjoy your favorites
Don't deny yourself your favorite treats, just keep them in moderation. You need to remember that this is not the last time in your life that you're going to get to enjoy this. So instead of eating a large portion to get your fill of something, try taking a smaller portion, but truly enjoying each bite. You may find that its more satisfying. If its a treat that I'm enjoying at home, I'll sometimes have half one day and the other half the next. Then it feels like I've got to have it twice, when really it was just cut in half.
Taking the time to exercise
It may be hard to find time to exercise during the mayhem of the season, but its important to take time between all the cocktail parties, shopping for the perfect gifts and making costumes for the school pagent to take some much needed time for yourself. Exercise will also help you deal with some of the stress, and we can all use a little relief in that department, right?
Aim to get 30-60 minutes 4-5 days a week, even if its just going out for an evening walk. Use the time to think over what is truly important for the season. Is it having the perfect looking house? Or is it creating memories with family and friends? Sometimes going out for some fresh ait can clear your head and make you see what is really important in life (plus your dog will love the fresh air too)
If you're looking for some inspiration, check out the 6 week bootcamp to fight Holiday indulgence that The Globe and Mail just released this week.You can check it out here.
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Now onto this week's log. I started off this week still sore from last week's BodyPump class, so I was
trying to forced to take it easy for a few days.
Wed, Nov 10: Bedtime Yoga
Thurs, Nov 11: Day Off
Fri, Nov 12: Indoor Bike 30 Min + Lots of Dancing with friends!
Sat, Nov 13: Boot Camp
Sun, Nov 14: Day Off
Mon, Nov 15: Day Off
Tues, Nov 16: BodyPump
Lean muscle mass continues to go up and body fat percentage keeps going down. I guess I'm doing something right :)
Body Mass Index: 24.2
Waist-to-Height ratio: 0.43
Percent Body Fat: 25.1%
Lean Body Mass: 117.4 lb