Holiday prep, family visits, epic meals…yep, end of the year festivities can make it feel impossible to avoid skipping workouts, gaining weight, and landing on January 1st with an epic hangover.
That’s why I put together this list of practical tips to help you maneuver through all of your holiday functions like a seasoned pro!
1. Eat Slowly and to “Satisfied”, instead of “Stuffed”
This is perhaps the most effective and practical tip of all! This strategy helps you to NOT overeat in two important ways:
- It takes about 15-20 minutes for your stomach to let your brain know that you’re satisfied. Slowing down allows that to happen before you overeat.
- When you slow down and savor your food, you feel content with much less. This allows you to eat less AND enjoy what you have eaten more!
2. Drink Water and Avoid Alcoholic and Sugary Drinks
Staying hydrated is important any time of year, and water is the gold standard for hydration. So, don’t forget to drink up on big family/friend gathering days! Carry a water bottle around with you so it is convenient to sip on throughout the day.
Did you know that when you drink alcohol, fat burning STOPS until you burn off the alcohol calories? It’s true! And this one of the reasons alcohol can be so detrimental in weight loss. Additionally, alcohol makes us less aware of and makes us care less about what we are consuming. If you really want an alcoholic beverage, choose something without a sugary mixer (like a glass of wine or a vodka tonic) and limit consumption to just one drink. Sip and really enjoy it!
Sugary drinks (sodas, juices, and even the southern favorite – sweet tea) are full of non-nutritional calories. Wouldn’t you rather EAT your calories than drink them?
3. Hang Out Away From the Food Tables
Have you ever noticed that when you stand beside the food tables (especially the appetizer or desert tables) that you mindlessly keep grabbing all of the good food? Just by finding somewhere else to hang out, you can avoid those mindless calories! “Out of sight, out of mind” helps you here.
4. Remember the PLATE Method when Building your Dinner Plate (and Use a Smaller Than Average Plate)
- ½ plate = non-starchy vegetables (green beans, broccoli, carrots, Brussel sprouts, etc)
- ¼ plate = protein (think lean here – white meat turkey)
- ¼ plate = starch (sweet potatoes, white potatoes, grains, etc)
Obviously, there are a lot of indulgent foods on the table that you’d like to try – fit them into the “starch” portion of your plate and enjoy them!
5. Start Your Day Out on the Right Foot, Nutritionally
Most of us will either be cooking or traveling the morning of a big holiday gathering, so making time for a nutritious breakfast may not be high on the priority list. Having a Super Shake is an easy way to get loads of nutrition into your body without a lot of effort or thought required!
6. Plan to Get Some Physical Activity