Ask A Trainer: 4 Biggest Holiday Tips
1 month until the new years! Yippee! I love the holidays. Friends, family, wine, parties, cool whip, pumpkin pie, you name it. But following the celebration we typically have a load of stress coming, especially for those who have already committed to a healthier life. You should be able to enjoy your holiday without the guilt because you deserve it. So here's a survival guide that will minimize that holiday fluff, and let you come out on top this new years.
So without further adieu:
1.) Group and pick your favorite foods.
Everybody has a few favorite dishes at the table- and trust me all of our moms know it. On Christmas Eve they will be on the table, and your mom will be there to guilt you into eating every last bit of it.
"You don't have room for dessert? Pumpkin Pie is your favorite, I even bought the cool whip you like!"
I know this is a health blog but I love pumpkin pie and cool whip. Who doesn't? While moms intentions are good, your belly will not agree with you in a few hours, and neither will the scale the next morning. Grouping and picking your favorite dishes will do you a world of good. So how do you group? If mom has homemade mac and cheese, loaded potatoes, queso and chips, I'd call that a group. Pick one, but ONLY one and eat it. Don't forget to portion. Do the same with your proteins, desserts, and drinks. If this method won't work for you we'll go to #2:
2.) Eat a little bit- of all them!
This is for the indecisive ones (like me). It keeps your mother and aunt happy, who always want you to taste test everything (love you mom). Eat all of them and don't worry about the pressure. Be wary though, this method requires some serious portioning vigilance. 2 spoons of moms mac and cheese may not seem like enough.
3.) Alcohol and it's effects.
Alcohol is not the greatest, but that usually doesn't keep us from partying a little too hard on the holidays (I still enjoy a good party every now and then). This tip is to ward off overeating caused by your favorite drink (or drinks). So if you are successfully controlling your eating but tossing back more than a few beers you may catch yourself reaching for junk food as the night goes on. These type of calories are the worst because they don't seem like much but can add up way quicker than a second helping of mashed potatoes, mainly because of the way we look at them.
Solution: Don't touch alcohol until dinner is over. Make sure the table is clean, the kitchen is tidy, and all the snacks are up. No carrying the Doritos bag around the house with you. Go outside for a few minutes if you have to. This will keep you from stacking up those forgotten calories that add on at the end of the night. Also, don't forget that like food alcohol has calories as well and should be treated that way.
4.) Breathe, smile, relax.
This tip is for those of you who just can't seem to settle for less than perfect (guilty!). With all these tips it's still easy to forget that you are actually supposed to be enjoying yourself. If you had an extra scoop of mac it's going to be okay, I promise. Take a deep breath, smile, and relax. You can always get back up, people aren't perfect, it's how we handle those imperfections that make us stronger.
There are tons of ways to handle your holiday feast. These tips are from personal experience and will not always work for everyone, so find out what works for you. With some self integrity, humility, and a little bit of practice you will figure these things out for yourself.
So go enjoy a slice of that pumpkin pie and smile, It's the holidays!