Tackling the Holidays

It’s that time of year! The leaves are falling, the air is getting crisp and the sounds of holiday music are already on the radio. The start of the holiday season brings a lot of fun, yet busy and stressful times. A lot of people use the holidays as a free pass when it comes to their diet. There tends to be more rich and sugary foods during the holiday season and fewer and fewer opportunities to get to the gym. The average person gains 12lbs between Halloween and New Years. Let’s keep those extra 12lbs at bay. Here are my recommendations that will help you tackle the holidays:

1.) Start The Day As If It Was A Normal Day:

Eat breakfast and get in a workout. Get your metabolism moving and stay focused on your goals.

2.) Have Lunch:

Enjoy something light like a salad or soup and half a sandwich – That way when you go into dinner, you won’t be starving and overeat on appetizers, dinner or dessert.

3.) Wear Well-Fitting Clothes And Keep A Drink In Your Dominant Hand:

By wearing clothes that are fitted, you will be able to feel when you’re getting full and will be less likely to overindulge. By having a drink in your hand, you are less likely to grab snacks with your non-dominant hand.

4.) Have A Game Plan:

We all know what is typically served at these holiday meals, so try to plan ahead. Perhaps offer to bring a healthy meal or snack. If you work out consistently, keep a healthy diet and know if you splurge you will be okay to pick up your normal routine the next day, go for it. If you know that once you eat a certain type of food that it triggers you, approach with caution. You could have one bite and move onto something else on your plate. Avoiding it altogether could invoke feelings of rebellion and make you binge later on. Only you know what you can handle, so be honest with yourself.

5.) Don’t Drink Your Calories:

Try to enjoy 1 alcoholic drink before or during dinner. If you’ve saved your calories for some adult beverages, alternate with water or unsweetened ice tea. Think of it this way, you could have a beer or cocktail anytime. Holiday foods are once a year; enjoy them (moderately) while you can!

6.) Don’t Stand Near The Table Of Food:

The kitchen is the heart of the home, but it is also where the food will be. Sit down with a plate so you can focus on what you’ve selected to eat. If you want seconds, you will have to get up and go back.

7.) Be Aware Of Food Allergies:

It is quite possible that you may have an allergy or intolerance to a food. There is an enormous amount of food waiting around every corner during the holiday season, we sometimes find ourselves gorging on food that we don’t even know the ingredients to. Afterward, we are left feeling lethargic and sick. By having a food allergy test, it will help you identify the foods that you might want to stay clear of.

8.) If You Are Not Hungry, Say So:

Do not let yourself be bullied into eating something that you really don’t want. You are/have been working hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle, don’t throw away all of your hard work for one day. You never know, being mindful of your food choices and your discipline might be inspiring someone in your family to make a change.

9.) You Do Not Have To Be A Member Of The Clean-Plate Club:

Eat until you’re full. As kids we were often guilted into eating every morsel on our plates, but you don’t have to be a member of the clean-plate-club. Don’t let the other people around you make you feel like you have to keep up with them, or that they are enjoying the dinner more than you because they selected more things and in bigger portions. You want to leave feeling content, not bloated and with a raging headache.

10.) Leftovers:

It’s okay to take something home with you if the host/hostess is insisting you leave with something. Try to take the protein. It will be the most versatile option for you to incorporate in your day-to-day diet. (Turkey in your omelet, in a chopped salad, or simply reheated with roasted vegetables)

Ultimately, these holidays only come once a year – so treat yourself, but know the more you go off track, the harder it will be to find the path again. Stay strong, ladies!

Written by Erin Tripi (Certified Nutritionist)*