Have breakfast on time to prevent a midnight binge. Have a healthy smoothie to keep your blood sugar level stable before diving into a buffet. Stay stress free with herbs like ashwagandha, kava kava, lavender or St. John’s Wort. Hit the gym once a week and squeeze in a few nutritious meals. Remember, you don't have to finish everything on your plate.
Healthy Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Woohoo, the holidays are almost here! Can’t you just feel the excitement!
Ok, I get it. While the holidays can be full of revelry, there can also be a lot of stress and a lot of overeating. And I know that the gift you’re looking for this year is not 10 extra pound. Blech!
So how do you find balance? How do you get over Grandma Ethel’s drunken jokes, tray after tray of hors d’oeuvres, meltdowns from your 3-year old, the blowout between your mom and your sister and an endless line of “oh my gosh” desserts while keeping your pant’s button from popping off? Hint: buying pants with an elastic band is not the answer. The answer is my holiday tips below.
1. Eat A Good Breakfast
Wait, why am I talking about breakfast when the event doesn’t even start until 7 pm? Because what you eat within the first hour of waking can save you from a binge at midnight. Trust me. If you eat a good breakfast, you’ll feel more in control with your eating come night time. Skipping or delaying breakfast increases the reward value in food throughout the day. Because it’s fine to have that bite of cake. But when your family finds you face down in a pound of fudge, you have some explaining to do.
2. Have A Healthy Smoothie Before The Party
I know, you don’t want to ruin your appetite, nor do you want to pack on extra calories before an evening of indulging. But trust me on this one. When you go to a big event with the stable blood sugar a smoothie helps provide, you’ll enjoy your food more. You’ll eat slower, taste more of the flavors in your food and will be more likely to make sensible choices. And it isn’t like a smoothie is horribly filling. Just remember to stay away from smoothies made with frozen yogurt or other sugary options.
3. Supplement With Stress Relieving Herbs
Already fretting over the family drama? Bent out of shape in having to be 10 different places at the same time? Stop and take a deep breath. Supplementing with herbs may be the answer for taking the edge off your stress. Considering herbs like ashwagandha, hops, passionflower, kava kava, lavender or St. John’s Wort. Something as simple as 250 mg of 500 mg of magnesium may be helpful as well (but watch out for diarrhea if you take too much). If you’re on any medication or have a pre-existing condition, check with your doctor first. Because certain stresses may be inevitable. But how you decide to deal with them is up to you.
4. Hit The Gym Once A Week
Ok, I get it. You’re WAY too busy right now for your normal exercise regimen. Who can blame you for slacking with all the holiday demands? And you need to let yourself off the hook about things not being perfect. However, you should still make sure to get at least one good workout in a week. The body can go a few weeks on just one workout without losing major muscle tone. And if you keep a piece of your workout routine, it won’t be a big deal when it is time to go full throttle again in January, Please note, you can’t use me as an excuse to slack off between now and December 31st. But if you simply can’t get to the gym as often, make sure to focus on getting there at all.
5. Develop A Game Plan
Ok, huddle! Here’s the deal. Unless you have a game plan going into the party, you’re probably likely to become undone by the bevy of options. Don’t let this happen! Come game day, tell yourself that you’re going to skip the fattening appetizers, but you’ll save a special section on your dinner plate for Uncle Edward’s mac and cheese. You’ll put lots of vegetables on the plate and have your turkey with just a small spoonful of gravy. Now you want to try every dessert, so you’ll put one spoonful of each onto your plate and really savor each one. Get how this works? You pick the indulgences that are important to you, leave out the ones that are just mindless eating and still manage to get some nutrients and fun into the mix! Oh, and tell a trusted love one your game plan so you stay accountable.
6. Add A Nutritious Dish To The Mix
When you eat at an event or at someone’s house, you’re at the mercy of what they have available. But at most events, it is expected for the guests to contribute. And what better way to contribute than with what might be the only healthy dish available. Don’t give in to being a victim of your surroundings. Actually contribute to making things better. This might mean bringing a salad, a vegetable plate, or fruit cups for dessert. Because even people who are over-indulging enjoy a nibble of broccoli here and there. The other guests and the host won’t label you a healthy downer. I promise!
7. You Don’t Have To Eat Everything On Your Plate
Worried that your family will take it as a great insult when you don’t try everything available on the table? It’s super frustrating when your family isn’t on the same page with your health goals. And nothing is worse than bringing Aunt Gladys to tears because you won’t try her snickers and oreo pie in a peanut butter cup crust. So put the food on your plate, move the food around as you eat so you don’t look like you are ignoring one section of your plate and focus on the healthier options (with a few bites of the treats that really speak to you). Seriously, I once pretended to eat half of a too under-cooked steak by shoving bits from my fork under the remaining steak and got away with it. When you don’t eat every bite off your plate, just say that your eyes were bigger than your stomach and that you’re stuffed. Aunt Gladys won’t ever know what really happened.
Finally these simple tips can get you through the holidays season without needing a whole new wardrobe or a year of trauma therapy. And the great thing is you can choose moderation while still fully partaking in the festivities.
To know more about Erica Mesirov – visit www.ericamesirov.com