Tis the season to be jolly! But that doesn’t mean we have to gain a Christmas belly big enough to compete with the man in red himself! This is the time of year where party comes after party. There are luncheons, work parties, and 3-5 course dinner feasts. Most of us resign to the idea that we are bound to gain a few pounds, but going in with a plan can help you stay on track.
It’s the final segment of our three-part holiday survival guide!
- On a day where you know you are going to have a big meal, don’t starve yourself to “make room.” Make sure you start the day off right by having a healthy, low calorie breakfast such as a protein shake mixed with fruit and yogurt. Eat low calorie snacks, and a light lunch. If you have a snack right before dinner you are less likely to consume high calorie appetizers and stuffing your face at dinner.
- Boost your metabolism and shift your body into fat-burning mode before going to the party. Studies prove that short bursts of exercise raise your metabolic rate and lasts long after your workout. Try our Circuit 7 Workout DVD’s for great 7-minute workouts!
- Every holiday day party comes with some kind of alcoholic beverage, and alcohol is a huge empty calorie culprit. Mulled wine contains a massive 253 calories per small glass whereas dry white wine only contains 83 calories per small glass. That’s 173 calories less! Just choose right!
- When eating in a restaurant, stay away from anything described as creamy, crispy, or fried. Ask for sauces on the side and ask for a box before your meal begins. Put half of your food in the box before you start eating. That way, you won’t feel pressured to finish your plate.
- Arrange to do a group activity with friends a day or two after Christmas Day – ice skating, or if you’re a lucky bum who lives in good weather, a bike ride! It’s a great way to burn the calories from Christmas dinner, and see the friends you need to see during the holidays without sitting round the kitchen table…consuming more calories! See our article: Winter Wonderland Activities
- Don’t get sick! At this time of year you are much more susceptible to the common cold and the flu. The increased intake of alcohol and low quality foods also has a negative impact on your immune system. Get a good night’s sleep and make sure to take your vitamins. Take a multivitamin or just make sure you are eating a few fruits, nuts or vegetables each day.
- Buy stocking fillers that focus on activity for all the family. A jump rope, football, Frisbee, pedometer, workout bands… It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it encourages everyone to get moving!
- Look for ways to stay active even when you’re busy: take the stairs, walk instead of driving to the post office to send out your Christmas packages, park your car at the far end of the mall lot to ensure burning a few more calories.
- When grocery shopping, make a list of everything you need for your Christmas holiday meals and stick to it. You don’t need to buy junk just because it’s on special!
- Save any uneaten Christmas cake and freeze it. It’ll be ready for unexpected visitors, and takes away the temptation to finish it all yourself!
- Dance your way into the New Year! Disco dancing burns around 350 calories an hour! Just don’t mess it up with too many cocktails.
Remember the main point of the holidays is to spend some quality time with your friends and family and relax after a long, hard year. If you fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up. Just make sure you come back even stronger in January and are ready to tackle the New Year head on.
Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!