Monday, November 19, 2012

Healthy Holidays Part 1

Keep Calm and Eat Turkey
I know, I know.  The whole "keep calm" thing is a little cliche by now, but it really seems appropriate in this case.  
Every where you turn for the next 6 weeks you will see hearty meals, cookies, cakes, lattes and candy.  You will also see magazine articles, news segments and online pop-ups giving you advice on how to avoid holiday weight gain.  One of my least favorite suggestions is to take tiny portions of the foods you want at the the actual holiday party.
This fitness trainer is telling me not to take small portions?
Yes.  That is exactly what I am saying.  I mean, kind of.
Here, today, is my helpful holiday eating advice.  It involves clear, calm thinking but also indulging when the moment is right.

1)  Eat healthy or healthier than normal day-to-day.
That's right.  You will be faced with peppermint mochas and gingerbread Oreos every time you step out of your house.  Avoid these treats now so that you can indulge later.  Pack lots of cut up veggies and fruit to stash in your fridge, at work, even keep some in your bag for when you are out shopping.  A baggie full of almonds or walnuts is a great idea, too.

2)  Workout!  
It's one of the busiest times of the year, and daylight is at a premium, I know.  But even a 10-15 minute workout will get your heart pumping and clear your mind.  It may just help curb your cravings, too.
Go for a walk.  Do some quick stretches.  Do my 10 minute workout :)  Just get moving now...think of it like a savings account.  Burn the calories and build the muscle now to get your metabolism revved up for the big feast.

3)  Don't nibble
As you are preparing Thanksgiving meals and treats, don't snack on the ingredients.  I am the number 1 prime suspect in this crime.  So much so that in the past I am so sick of the food I am making that I don't even eat it at the actual meal.  Don't be like me.  Keep a glass of water handy.  Again, a few healthy options like celery sticks or grapes.  Chew gum.  Play music (it's hard to snack if you are singing!)  The average bite of food contains 25 calories.  Don't waste those calories on cut up bread, cookie dough or turkey skin.  Wait until you can sit down, with a fork and knife, and actually enjoy it!

The one thing I want you to remember:  One meal will not make you gain weight.  It is how you eat over a period of time, say, Thanksgiving to New Years, that will cause unwanted weight gain.  So...keep this in mind.  Eat healthy, workout, be "good" on a day-to-day basis and then, when the actual holiday meal or party arrives, you can sit back, enjoy the fare, and truly celebrate.

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