For my December 12th article about resisting temptations and staying fit during the holidays, ‘Tis the Season…For Temptation, either click here or keep on readin’!
The trees are trimmed and the stockings have been hung with care; the holidays are finally upon us. And although it’s a time of family, fun, light and laughter, it’s also a time of cookies, cocktails, and cheese puffs… which means that it’s entirely too easy to be ringing in 2014 with an extra five (or 15) pounds.
But it is possible to survive the holiday crunch without tipping the scales. Here are my six tips to fighting the battle of the bulge this holiday season.
1) Drink water
A lot of water. Most of us are chronically dehydrated; not only will our bodies function at a higher level with a few liters of water a day, but we’ll also snack less. Drinking a glass of water before a meal will make you feel full, which means you’ll take in fewer calories.
When you’re heading to your next Christmas party, be sure to drink water before, during, and after. You’re guaranteed to feel better and snack less.
2) Sip on one cocktail, not five
If you read my column regularly, you’ve seen my warnings about the damage that alcohol can do to your waistline. Not only is booze full of empty calories, but it’ll make you feel rotten enough to miss your next workout.
And if that weren’t enough, holiday cocktails make for an especially dire situation; eggnog and hot buttered rum make warm you up on a chilly night, but these Christmas cocktails are full of cream, fat and calories.
Instead of going whole-hog at the Christmas party, try nursing one cocktail throughout the night. You’ll still look like you’re enjoying the party, but you’ll save hundreds of calories.
3) Load up on fibre and protein
Throughout the day, make sure to stay full and satiated with fibre, protein and healthy fats. Try lean meat and fish, nuts, eggs, Greek yogurt, and loads of fruits and veggies throughout the day to curb your hunger and make your temptations a distant memory.
4) Don’t go in hungry
In my experience, showing up hungry to a party is about the worst mistake you can make this holiday season. By the time you’re on your eighth bacon-wrapped-scallop or are coming up from air by the guacamole bowl, you’re going to be filled with guilt, sluggish regret, and perhaps a stomach ache. To avoid this, eat a balanced diet throughout the day and have a healthy snack (such as an apple with almond butter or some Greek yogurt with fruit) about 45 minutes before your party.
5) Re-devote yourself to fitness
It’s a busy time of year for everyone, which is all the more reason to re-dedicate yourself to your fitness program. Whether it’s yoga, jogging, pilates, or Zumba, commit yourself to your fitness schedule and set aside a portion of each day to sweat. You’ll sleep better, feel more balanced and burn off some of those holiday sweets.
6) Indulge occasionally
Don’t try to deny yourself every last cookie this holiday season. Total denial doesn’t work — you’ll just end up hating yourself while elbow deep in a bag of Oreos. To satisfy your cravings and truly enjoy the season, occasionally indulge in your favourite holiday treats. Just remember to have one, not 20.
Molly Daley is a nutritionist and runs the healthy cooking, fitness and wellness blog Diary of a Formerly Fat Girl. Find her at www.DiaryofaFormerlyFatGirl.com , or follow her on Twitter, @DOAFFG.