Can you believe we are nearing the end of 2016? It’s been a heck of a year!
This time of the year tends to be challenging for a lot of people. With the end of the year comes the holidays. With the holidays comes food; someone always seems to be baking some sort of delicious treat.
Next come the holiday parties. Then leftovers.
Oh and would you look at that...another party…. with more food and drink.
For some of us it seems like there is no escaping the holiday death grip.
Although it seems like we gain anywhere from 5-100 lbs over the course of the holidays, we don’t (I mentioned this in a blog last year.. actually it was my first blog post!).
Over the course of the major holiday season (Thanksgiving - New Years) we gain just under one pound, on average. The big numbers we see during the season tends to be more water weight than anything (phew!).
However, I’m sure a lot of us would rather not gain the extra pound (or more..). So what do we do to enjoy our holiday, but also continue on the road to losing or maintaining our current weight?
1. Keep up with Your Exercise Routine
Our exercise routines become more important as the colder months come in. Firstly the holidays [typically] have us eating more. Which is the perfect reason to keep up with our routine. If we eat more and stop exercising we put ourselves at risk for gaining weight (Actually..I guarantee it will happen!).
Second, with it being cold outside we [typically] find ourselves indoors more. There’s a reason why people tend to put on more weight in the colder winter months:
We stop moving.
We might not be taking those long walks, or hikes for another few months. If you’re someone who tends to gravitate to the indoors during these colder months it’s imperative to stick to your routine. We’ll have a better chance at making it unscathed as we make our way through this holiday season!
2. Stay True to Your Nutritional Goals
Just like with our exercise, we will want to stay true to our nutritional goals here. Just because “it’s the holidays” does not give us a free pass to throw everything out the window. Keep your goals in mind. You can still enjoy your holidays. I promise.
Remember the flexibility you have with your calories. We know if we eat too much we will gain weight. Period. It doesn’t matter if it’s from “junk” food or “clean” food.
Keep your caloric goals in mind and do your best to hit those numbers by…
3, Exercising Portion Control at Social Gatherings
Let’s be honest here. It’s always nice to make a healthier version of mashed potatoes or gravy, but we can’t count on every party or get together to have “clean” options because...It’s the holidays! And how often does Thanksgiving come around?
The best thing you can do is to exercise portion control if you are not in control of the food choices at a social gathering.
I’m a big fan of using a food scale, but obviously we aren’t going to be wackos and carry around scales in our back pockets when we go to our holiday work party (well maybe some of us!).
Here is a simple way to do this:
In case the image ceases to work:
- The size of your palm = Protein Portion
- The size of your closed fist = Carbohydrate Portion
- The size of your cupped hands = Vegetable Portion
And when it comes to fats (ie butter), use the tip of your thumb to measure.
Exercising portion control will not only help us during the holidays, but for our everyday lives. Since we have some time before the madness begins start doing this today! Seriously.
Do it! Get the hand of it.
It’s said it takes our brains 20-30 minutes to register the feeling of satiety. With that being said...it’s a good idea to wait.
After you finish your plate, wait. If it took you 10 minutes to eat, wait at least 10 more minutes before getting another serving. There's no rush. Sit back and relax. Conversate. Laugh. Wait.
5. Watch out for Liquid Calories
These calories are the sneaky ones. It’s easy to forget eggnog contains an incredible amount of calories (around 350-400 calories per cup. YIKES!). And when it’s spiked...oh boy. You better believe those calories are adding up.
“But what about vodka?”
Yes. Vodka contains calories. A shot of vodka can net you anywhere between ~70-140+ calories, depending on the serving device ~.^
Enjoy yourself, but be mindful of what’s going in your glass and how much of it!
6. Avoid Starvation
This last one here can truly help.
It’s common to hear folks talking about fasting until “the big meal.” They want to eat as much as they can during dinner. However….
This leads to overeating. If you go into the main event starving you are going to be treading in dangerous waters. Everything.
Is more enticing when you are starving or HANGRY (Grrrrr!). Before we know it we down four rolls with butter and are still hungry for more.
Avoid doing this at all costs! Just remember...
The holidays are something to enjoy. We shouldn’t be afraid of them. We should embrace the holidays. Embrace loved ones. We just need to be mindful of how much we are putting on our plates and how much, and what, we are putting in our glasses. Along with moderating food intake during the holidays, keep up with your exercise routine. Staying on track in the gym will help us to stay on track of our goals. We are prone to make better decisions when we have our goals in mind. Keep them in sight. There are no brakes for our goals.
You are unstoppable and together we can all survive the holidays.