‘Tis the season to stay in shape! We are now in the thick of the holidays, and if your past few weeks have been anything like mine, they have been tempted with mountains of buttery cookies and spiked egg nog. It is very common to pack on 5-10 pounds during the months of November and December as we stuff our faces with festive eats and let our workouts fall by the wayside.
To make sure we don’t go overboard this season, here are 5 quick and healthy tips to keep you from gaining that holiday bulge.
- SIGN UP FOR FITNESS CLASSES IN ADVANCE
Losing motivation to work out during the holidays is very common and completely understandable. Some of us travel to visit family, and there is just too much naughty food temptation. But trust me, you will thank yourself when the new year begins if you have kept up your workouts amidst the family gatherings and parties. Even if you are in a different city, a way to keep you motivated is to sign up for workout classes in that city in advance so that you are forced to go. Most gyms will charge you if you don’t show, so it is a great way to hold yourself accountable.
- AVOID DRINKING ALCOHOL BEFORE DINNER
Drinking too much alcohol before dinner will most likely make you drop all inhibitions. The next thing you know you will be reaching over the table for that extra serving of mashed potatoes or cake even if you’re already stuffed. Instead, try sipping on a glass of wine during dinner and try to not finish your last sip until your last bite of dessert.
- EAT A SNACK BEFORE THE PARTY TO AVOID OVERINDULGING
Before I go to any cocktail party, I always eat a little snack before I arrive to make sure I don’t go crazy on the appetizers. One of my favorite treats to keep in my purse is one or two goodness knows snack squares. Each square is tiny and less than 40 calories and satisfies my sweet tooth as well as my hunger, so I don’t feel I need to indulge in four or eight bacon-wrapped dates or that big slice of peppermint brownie. (www.goodnessknows.com)
- DON’T SAVE YOURSELF FOR THAT HOLIDAY MEAL
Instead of not eating all day to enjoy your big holiday meal, try eating 3-4 small healthy meals throughout the day. That way, when it does come time for the big meal, you won’t overdo it out of starvation. You can try a little bit of everything and be satisfied.
- PLAN A WORKOUT BEFORE THE BIG MEAL
Enlist family members or friends to go for a pre-meal run or walk. You will feel so good after your workout with all the endorphins running through your system, overeating just won’t be as tempting.