The holidays have the three F’s in common: family, friends and food (ok, they all have traditions as well, but that didn’t start with an f). There’s no avoiding food during the holiday season, and let’s be honest, who would want to? This time of year means celebrating with your loved ones around delicious cuisine and you deserve to do that.
Throughout this post, you’ll find tip after tip on how to enjoy your favorite time of year without paying for it later on in the New Year.
1) “And I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”–Aerosmith- Take the bigger helpings of your top favorite foods. I know, I could say the entire spread is my favorite, but that’s not the name of the game. Pick two to three. Then take just a couple bite serving of everything else. That way, you won’t have to miss a thing!
2) The One Clean Plate Club- Commit to yourself that you’ll only have one plate. Once that plate is licked clean, pick her up and take that beauty to the sink. That simple trip to the kitchen not only saves you from having seconds and thirds, but it’ll also keep you from mindlessly picking at what’s left on your plate…that’s IF there’s anything left!
3) Single Task- The holidays come but once a year. Enjoy the conversation, and savor the hell out of your food! Put your fork down while talking to Aunt Frieda instead of chatting with your mouth constantly full of that marvelous turkey, corn, mashed potato and gravy combo you whipped up on your plate.
4) Traditions are Where it’s At- Take a walk with Grandma post meal and pre pie. My grandma and I would do that every year I was home for Thanksgiving. It became our little tradition.
5) Take No Prisoners- Hang outside with the kiddos after your meal and play some freeze tag or hide and seek (and kick their butts…just kidding…kinda).
6) Break the Fast- If you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner ravenous from not eating all day, you’re going to snort about twice as much food, while relishing none of it. Have yourself a healthy breakfast so you don’t show up at your mom and dad’s ready to eat your niece.
FYI: Did you know that eating breakfast gets your metabolism cranking for the day and can help you burn more calories overall (and on Thanksgiving, we need all the extra help we can get)? So you might as well kill two birds with one stone and eat some breakfast already!
7) Skip Right Along- Only eat one roll or, if you can, skip it altogether. You can munch on one of those take n’ bake rolls any day of the year. That goes for the other not-so-special foods served as well.
8) Hi Ho Sliver, Away!- Like all 3 pies that are being served? Well have a sliver of each! You get the best of all worlds and there’s no missing out to be had. Easy peasy.
9) ”Let’s Get Physical”–Olivia Newton John- (I’m sorry I keep referencing songs here, but I just can’t help myself.) Sweat before the food fest. Most gyms are open at least until one on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Get your butt to the club and have a fantastic cardio session. You will feel great afterwards. In addition to the natural high from the release of endorphins, you probably burned enough calories for those 3 slivers of pie you’re going to make love to later on!
10) Stealin’ Deals- Are there appetizers lurking around. Distract yourself by grabbing a newspaper and scoping out all the Black Friday deals.
11) Too Much Booze, You Lose- Have a glass of wine with dinner, but don’t go throw ’em back with Uncle Jim beforehand. Too much alcohol can wreak havoc on any sort of eating plan. It causes you to feel less full, it reduces your inhibitions, makes food taste incredible, especially the not-so-good for you food, and the calories in beverages with alcohol (think egg nog) mounts up pretty darn fast.
12) Everyday’s Not a Holiday- It’s a known fact people overeat and gain weight during the holiday season. With that being said, even one or two days of going balls to the wall is not going to seriously pack on the poundage. It’s the entire season from Thanksgiving, to your office holiday party, your friends Vodka and Latke bash, Christmas plus New Year’s and anything else that I’ve missed, is what the weight gain is all about.
If you’re consuming food as though it’s an eating competition between you and the largest man in the room EVERY time you hit up a shindig, shopping for bigger jeans might be in your future once the New Year rolls around. In other words, try not to use the holidays as an excuse to eat all you can as often as you can because your resolution this year, like every year, is to lose weight.
Look at it from another perspective. I’m sure you were planning to put weight loss down on your list of resolutions before the holidays came into play. Why on earth would you want to make it harder for yourself by adding yet another five pounds, from just the last six weeks, to your weight loss goal?
Believe me, I used to be the same way. I would inhale food throughout the season like a bear storing up for hibernation, while reassuring my guilty conscience that starting January 1st, I would be going on a diet. But in the meantime, creating more work for myself later on seemed to be my favorite pastime. To make a long story short, I’m not saying you can’t celebrate the holidays by indulging in wonderful food, just don’t celebrate everyday for a month and a half straight.
If you are watching what you eat, dealing with food pushers are tough. You don’t want to hurt her feelings by not taking any, so what to do?
Announce that you are so full, but take one sample bite (or not) and rave about it. Then ask if you can have a doggie bag for the road. Voila, you made her day because you loved it, and you’re happy because you stayed in control and didn’t sabotage your plans for eating well.