Avoid The Festive 15

Tips for staying on track at the holidays

Having the willpower to avoid the cookie aisle at the grocery store on a “normal” day is tough. Avoiding the aisle, end caps and special displays during the holiday season, well that requires super human strength.  If you’ve ever been tempted to skip a glass and drink straight from a bowl of eggnog at your company holiday party, fear not.  I have some suggestions you can follow to help avoid the dreaded Festive 15 lbs!

Eat Regularly – Every 3 hours

Eating every three hours keeps blood sugar balanced and keeps you satisfied so you don’t have cravings. I have found this to be one of the easiest ways to avoiding the sugar craving. Especially before hitting the grocery store! I promise, if you eat before grocery shopping or heading to the holiday party, you will have zero cravings and more willpower to stay away from the cookie isle or dessert trays. 

Don’t bring home party leftovers

There is no doubt some foods are better the next day, but that is not true for your waistline.  Party leftovers can do you in, so avoid the temptation and take a pass when the host offers you a to-go container.

Morning workout

Studies have shown that people who workout in the morning tend to move more throughout the day and were able to resist food temptations.  Even if you can’t workout in the morning make sure it’s on your calendar for later in the day. Plan ahead and don’t go off schedule just because it’s the holidays. If you stay on your routine you will be less tempted to veer off your meal plan. Stay on your schedule and empower yourself to succeed during the holidays without weight gain. 

Avoid the “I won’t eat until the party” strategy

If you’ve ever skipped breakfast and lunch, you know that by the time dinner rolls around, you're starving and you end up eating twice as much as you would—or should—if you ate throughout the day.  The same is true about skipping meals before a party.  If you want to avoid the Festive 15, aim for the lean protein, vegetables and non-processed carbs throughout the day. Set yourself up as a winner and during the holiday party, you won’t overeat and will choose healthy items because your blood sugar is balanced throughout the day. 

The 30-second rule

I’m not talking about the dropping-food-on-the-floor rule, I’m talking about the willpower 30-second rule.  If the holiday cookies in the break room are calling your name, wait 30 seconds.  Go back to your desk and check email or return a phone call.  Better yet, go for a short walk around the office.  Nine times out of 10, the cookie monster in your head will stop talking and you’ll have the willpower to leave the cookies alone.

Weigh in

If you want to make sure your not packing on extra pounds, don’t ignore the scale during the holidays.  This is just a tool for keeping you accountable, and it’s an easy way to make sure you’re staying on track and not going to need a diet-related New Year’s Resolution.

Buffet gauntlet

We’ve all done it. You pick up a plate at the start of a buffet and half way through the line, your plate is already full of things you’re not even sure you wanted to begin with.  Instead of filling up with a taste of everything, have a look at the entire buffet before you get in line and decide what’s really worth the splurge. For example, try sticking to lean proteins and veggies and give yourself one splurge in the dessert section. 

Don’t drink your calories

If you want to enjoy a glass of wine or holiday cocktail, keep it to a minimum and drink plenty of water.  Aside from having to suffer through a hangover the next morning, mixed drinks pack a calorie punch—stay away from juices and syrupy mixers.  Drinking alcohol also increases cravings, which means you’re more likely to eat more.

Holiday Activities instead of Holiday Dinners

I’m not trying to be the grinch when it comes to holiday parties, but there are tons of fun holiday activities you can do with family and friends that don’t include food as the centerpiece.  Here are a few ideas…take a yoga class, go for a snowshoe hike, build a snowman outside with the kids, apply for a permit and hike to cut down a Christmas tree. 

Don’t throw in the towel

If all else fails and you’re worried you have indulged a little too much, don’t give up and give in to the New Year’s Resolution.  Getting back on track the next day is as easy as kicking off your day with a good workout and a healthy breakfast.  Don’t throw in the towel and give in for the rest of the season.  Remember, the extra pounds do not go away as easy as the holiday decorations.

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