Well, it’s that time of year again! The time of year when holiday treats are being passed around and our exercise consists of running around the mall to those last minute gifts. This time of year is meant to enjoy the company of loved ones, and of course, indulge in your favorite treats. From apple pie to alcohol, our social festivities are most frequently revolved around food. So how can we avoid gaining the dreaded holiday weight during this season but still enjoy ourselves? Well the good news is, you can have your (cheese)cake and eat it to – following these simple rules will help you keep the weight off this season:
Everything in moderation
Christmas parties are a great time to enjoy some of life’s greatest pleasures: great food, drink and company. Even though you are there to enjoy yourself, this is not a license to over-indulge and go on a binge. Before you go to a holiday party, have a game plan and decide what is acceptable and what is not. Eat slower to avoid overeating and check out these tips.
Look at the Clock
You’re not checking your watch for Santa; you’re looking at the time because when you eat food matters. Try to avoid eating too many carbohydrates right before bed. As a good rule, try not to eat carbs within 3 hours of sleeping. With late night dessert offering, this is easier said than done.
Find the time to exercise
Yes the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, but there is always time for some type of exercise! Even if you don’t have time to run off to the gym, there is always something we can do to stay active. Want a fun way to burn some extra calories? Take a few minutes and try the 12 days of Christmas home workout.
Eat your carbs around your workouts
Sugar cookies, pie and cake are all traditions of the season, but did you know that if you eat these items before or after a workout then they are far less likely to be stored as fat. When your body is in a post workout state, it is a calorie burning machine, so that slice of pie is going straight to feed your muscles, not to fat storage.
Create healthy dessert options
This time of year, one of my favorite nutrition hacks is to make a healthy pumpkin pie and bring it to holiday parties. Start with a recipe on the label of a can of pumpkin. Then replace condensed milk with almond milk, and replace sugar with stevia extract. Bonus: use a whole-wheat crust from your local grocery store.
Drink a lot of water
The benefits of drinking water are two fold. It helps you stay full and avoid overeating, and it aids in digestion. Drink a tall glass of water when you wake up and before meals, you will be happy you did. Come New Year’s Day, you’ll have a leg up on all the other new years resolutions.
A Word About Alcohol
Gingerbread beer and holiday wines are staples, but make no mistake about it; this may be the biggest danger to your waistline this time of year. When your body ingests alcohol, your metabolism switches from burning calories to metabolizing alcohol. What does this mean? It means that until all of the alcohol is out of your system, you won’t be burning the calories you ate, this means it is highly likely that these calories will be stored as fat. However, there are ways to limit the effects of alcohol on your figure. Limit your consumption to one or two drinks and choose wisely: the best thing you can drink is a distilled vodka or gin mixed with soda water, the worst is a probably a heavy beer. Check out more tips on drinking without gaining weight here.
Eat nutritious with non-festive meals
The total calories you eat in a week are more important than a single day, so be sure to balance everything out with healthy choices. When you’re not at a party or dinner, eat particularly clean in an attempt to balance out your nutrition.
Don’t let a bump in the road, knock you off of the road
If you have one too many pieces of cheesecake, or a few too many drinks, don’t let this derail your holiday eating game plan. If you strayed from your original eating intentions, just do better next time!
Don’t stress about it!
It’s called a holiday for a reason! This time of year is meant to be relaxing, so enjoy it! If you want a second helping of pie then go for it. Make your decision and don’t stress about it. Stress has been linked to weight gain, so be at piece (pun intended) and enjoy the pie.
If you’re cooking and constantly sampling your creation it can quietly add hundreds of calories to your diet. Skip the tasting and enjoy your creation after!
Organize holiday activities
Need to burn those extra pastry calories? Try organizing events with families that can keep everyone active. Maybe a friendly touch football game with the family, or sign up for a holiday 5k race.
However you decide to spend the holidays, be sure to enjoy it. And if you need a little help before or after the holidays to look good, that’s why PARS is here. Set up a consultation today to learn more, call us at 1.888.886.1333.