It’s that time of the year, where everyone gets together to eat, drink, and be merry.
But it is also the time of the year where many of us end up putting on a few or even 10 extra pounds, and then kill ourselves for months after to lose unwanted weight.
I mean can anyone blame us? How can we resist all the parties with all their desserts, yummy stuffing, and fancy cocktails?
I can’t even begin to count how many times my clients have contacted me after the holidays wanting to “get back on track”.
Soooo, I have created a super simple Holiday Survival Guide to save you guys from having to spend the rest of winter and all of spring getingt back in shape.
This is not a ' have only lettuce and water' type of guide. We all love food, and most of the times the yummier it is, the unhealthier it is.
So how can we enjoy the holidays and indulge in all of its deliciousness without feeling guilty afterward?
Here we go:
1) Never go to a party or sit at the dinner table hungry!!!
Do eat your meals, and specially before the party try to eat a small healthy snack while you are getting ready, or on your way there. Some options that are about 150-200 calories are :
- A serving of Oatmeal (with cinnamon, agave) ,
- Peanut butter banana boat (1 tbsp PB & ½ banana)
- Small handful of almonds, or
- 1 serving of low-fat Greek yogurt.
You also want to be well hydrated, drink plenty of water before, and during the party. Remember that is water NOT juice
2) We eat with our eyes.
This is a perception trick I use to do when I was trying to lose a few extra pounds.
- I would serve my food in Smaller plates. This way your plate looks full, and your eyes tell you that you are eating a lot.
You may think it is silly, but trust me, we “think” we are hungry or not based on how FULL our plate looks.
- Also by using smaller plates, you can eat less, and then see if you are still hungry for a second serving.
3) Start with eating the Salad and/or Vegetables
- Salads (kindly ask the host what kind of dressing the salad has). If the dressing has not been mixed into it, then opt for a healthier dressing such as:
- Vinegar & Olive Oil with a little salt and pepper
- Lemon juice
- Or simply use the dressing they have, but spoon it over your salad, about 1-2 tablespoons and mix it well
- Vegetables, another good way of getting full on healthier stuff first is to eat your greens before anything else, or
- Have 2:1 or 3:1 portion of greens to your protein or carbs.
4) Two is the number when it comes to Drinks and Cocktails, and stay hydrated
A good rule to follow, regardless of where you are is:
- For every drink have One glasses of water
Remember alcohol is sugar and calories add up, so if you really are planning on drinking more than two, then watch your food intake, and Skip dessert.
5) Eat your lean protein (if you do eat animal protein)
After eating your salad, make your plate as follows:
- ½ of the plate: Vegetable
- The other half: 2/3 Protein and
- The rest complex carbs
*A note on eating Complex carbs, there is nothing wrong with enjoy them, just choose wisely. Instead of mash potatoes pick roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes. Have your rice, white or brown, just eat smaller portions.
6) Desserts!!!! To have or not to have?
I always say that is better to have a small portion and satisfy your craving, than to restrict yourself, and end up standing in front of your fridge at 11pm, eating anything you see, because you want Something and you don’t know what.
I know we have all been there. We skip something that we really truly want, and we have been doing so good for so long with our eating that when we don’t actually eat a small portion of that yummy looking dessert, we end up with the tub of ice cream or anything sweet we can find, and inhaling it on the kitchen floor.
There you have it, a simple and easy to follow guide on how to enjoy all the holiday goodies without feeling guilty and gaining weight.
Just remember everything in moderation AND if you do lose it and eat everything on the dinner table, no need to beat yourself about it.
Go workout the next day, a good cardio workout plus clean eating the day after the party will put you back on track.
The one thing you DO NOT want to do, is feel bad about yourself, get depressed, and continue the overeating (which at this point becomes emotional eating)