How To Stay Fit During The Holidays

It’s all too easy to lose sight of your fitness goals, gain weight, and negate ALL the progress you’ve made in an entire year, during the Holiday season.  Here are some tried and true tips that my clients use:

*Every day do SOME type of exercise!  Think of your body like a bank:  Calories in; calories out.  Cut yourself some slack as well, especially if you are used to going to the gym, doing some cardio AND maybe a Yoga class!  Know that there often aren’t enough hours during the Holiday season and you’ll get back on track in the New Year. 

*Make an added effort to eat your normal meals and snacks, every day, plus drink  plenty of water. (That’s 8 glasses of water, minimum).

*NEVER go to a party hungry!! An hour or so before eat a healthy snack, plus a glass of water.  This will help you arrive ready to mingle and not in a ravenous state.  If going straight from work to the party, stop at the store and grab a package of nuts or a protein bar, plus water, and eat/drink en route.

*Once at the party fill your plate with veggies and hummus, or low cal dip.  Better to stay away from the chips/crackers/cheeses/nuts. Drink another couple glasses of ice water (or sparkling water) and ‘pretend’ to be drinking a yummy alcoholic beverage as you mingle and visit.  Have the host or bartender put lemon slices or a cherry in it to fool other guests. This will help fill you up and cut back on unneeded calories.

*Dining: Survey the landscape and decide what your best choices are.  Are there salads, shrimp cocktail, soups or chili’s available?  Any of those choices will take time to eat, enable you to carry on conversation, and leave you full and content.  Try and keep your distance from the hams, baron of beef, ribs, fried chicken, layered casseroles or other high cal/fat protein sources. However, a nice piece of grilled salmon or chicken would be welcome!

*Desserts:  Hopefully, by this time you are chock full of water, veggies and dips, salads, soups and ~ urp ~ whatever else looked good but fits into your ‘bank account’.  If you feel you simply must have something yummy, once again survey the landscape. Is there any fresh fruit displayed? If you need something more decadent, pumpkin or sweet potato pie, with just one crust is always a great option. As is a parfait or sorbet.  Or maybe a few chocolates with a glass of wine would do the trick? A couple pieces of cheese would also go nicely with the wine. Stay far away from the cheesecakes, cakes, pies, and other elegant looking desserts and your waistline will thank you on January first.

*Outline your game plan for the next time.  Make a mental checklist:   Have I eaten regularly today? Done some exercise?  Had enough water?  What am I going to snack on, as I drive to the party?  What’s my strategy once I go through that door?  What do I want to choose, and why?  (oh, yeah, it’s that darn bank account :/ )

SUCCESS!  Congratulate yourself for a job well done!! You’ve arrived in the New Year without 5 or 10 extra pounds!!  And probably avoided a bad cold or flu as you didn’t fill up on sugar at each party :)

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