By Vanessa Hampton
It’s that time of year again.
The Thanksgiving holiday has officially kicked off the season of indulgent food at every turn, and a lot less time to stay in our workout routine. Some people look forward to the treats and change in routine, but for others it’s a stressful time of feeling out of control, insecure, and worried about weight gain.
Many people do gain at least a few pounds during the holiday season, but this is not a rule and it does not have to be you. You actually can enjoy the holidays and survive it with your body intact. Here are some simple guidelines to help.
1. 80/20 rule
Choose a strategy of making healthy choices in your eating during the holidays 80 percent of the time and allow yourself to indulge 20 percent of the time. After we are past all of the celebrations, plan to adjust your strategy to 90/10 to get back on track.
2. Pick your celebrations to indulge
If you find yourself with several parties to attend or multiple family homes to visit during the holidays, strategize about which ones you will allow yourself to indulge. For the others, eat before you go. There is nothing wrong with declining the snacks and sugar by being full when you arrive.
3. Limit the sugar
Sugar feeds sugar. So if you are spending your days at the office, popping chocolates in your mouth every time you pass a candy dish on someone’s desk, it is not only going to add up in calories, it is going to continue making you crave more sugar throughout the day. Just like you picking your celebrations, be intentional about your sugar indulgences and keep them to a minimum.
4. Enjoy what you want but be mindful of how much
There is no reason that you should deny yourself that special holiday food that you love, but it doesn’t mean that you should load up a plate full. Change your thinking and be mindful of your portions. Taste test several of the foods available but make it 1 spoon full instead of 4!
5. Any workout counts
It’s difficult to stay in your workout routine with the busy days and nights of the holiday season. This doesn’t mean you should just throw up your hands all together and forget exercise for 6 weeks. Be creative with your workout and get something in, even if you only have 15-20 minutes to spare. Sprinkle it throughout your day. Walk the stairs on your lunch hour. Do body weight exercises at your desk. Sneak in a 15-minute jog. Look for classes offered at different times to accommodate your schedule. Just keep moving!
6. Drink your water
Holiday eating … and extra alcohol means that we will retain more water in our bodies. The best way to battle? Drink more water. This will not only help you shed extra water weight (counter-intuitive, I know) by keeping you hydrated, but it can also keep you from over indulging.
5. Finally… Relax
This is the time of year where spirits tend to be high and love is abundant as we spend time with family and friends. Relax. Remember what it’s all about and enjoy the season!