It’s hard to believe that the holidays are already upon us. Traditionally, the holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many it has also become a time for poor choices that cause over-eating and the “holiday” weight gain.
According to the National Institute of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year. Calculated over a lifetime, holiday weight can really add up.
Contrary to popular belief, the holidays don’t have to mean weight gain. If you focus on appropriate food choices, coupled with a healthy balance of activity and fun – this holiday season will be much different.
There is nothing worse than dealing with the “January Jelly Roll.” Rather than setting your New Year Resolution to lose weight, wouldn’t it be better to set it to tone and condition what you have?
Make this holiday season one that sends you into 2014 feeling INCREDIBLE!
10 Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating
Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead focus on maintaining your current weight.
Plan time for exercise. Moderate daily exercise can help relieve holiday stress and partially offset increased holiday eating. A simple ten- or fifteen-minute brisk walk twice-a-day does wonders to clear your head and prevent excessive added weight.
Don’t skip meals. Before you step out to a party, eat a quick snack– like unsalted almonds– or grab a handful of raw vegetables. Another alternative is to have a healthy smoothie. A small snack will help you be less tempted to over-indulge.
Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods. Be sure to include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.
Eat until you are satisfied; not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats, while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable and enjoy. Chew slowly and concentrate on truly tasting what you are eating.
Drink water. It sounds simple, but water is best. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating; and, sodas and fruit juices can be full of calories and sugar.
If you overeat at one meal, go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day (that’s 3,500 calories per week) above your normal consumption to gain one pound. Keeping that in mind, it is impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie; but, pie every night is a sure way to see that “January Jelly Roll.”
Focus on family fun-time rather than food. Turn candy- and cookie-making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, or a gingerbread house. Plan group activities; playing games or going on a walking tour of decorated homes.
Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering; one that you are excited about eating and will be proud to share.
Practice healthy holiday cooking. To prepare favorite dishes lower in fat, incorporate some of these simple-cooking tips in traditional holiday recipes to make them healthier.
Gravy — Refrigerate the gravy to harden fat, then skim-off the fat. This will save a whopping 56-grams of fat per cup.
Dressing — Use a little less bread and add more onions, celery, vegetables and spices. Add fruits such as cranberries or apples. Moisten or flavor with low-fat, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth and applesauce.
Turkey – Enjoy delicious, roasted turkey breast without the skin and save 11-grams of saturated fat per 3-oz serving.
Green Bean Casserole – Cook fresh green beans with chunks of potatoes and fat-free half-n-half, instead of cream soup. Top with almonds, instead of fried onion rings.
Mashed Potatoes — Use skim milk, chicken broth, and Parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.
Cranberry Sauce – Fresh cranberry sauce has half the calories of the canned version. Plus, it’s easy and fun to make!
Quick Holiday Nog — Four bananas, 1-1/2 cups skim milk or soymilk, 1-1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon rum extract, and ground nutmeg. Blend all ingredients, except nutmeg. Puree until smooth. Top with nutmeg.
Desserts — Make crustless pumpkin pie. Substitute two egg whites for each whole egg in baked recipes. Replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk in cheesecakes and cream pies.
So, what’s a girl to do while holidaying?
Honestly, the holidays are a beautiful time to exhale, relax and indulge a little. I believe that “A little of what you fancy does you good.” All in moderation, though. Plan a time for activity, incorporate healthy recipes into your holiday meals and in the long run, your mind and body will thank you.
Spend the next 30 days dropping excess pounds, then you can ride out the holidays more likely eating healthier, indulging less and sticking to your fitness schedule.
We have just the plan to transform your body over the next 30 days…and it doesn’t end there, we can help you through the holidays as well.
Commit to be fit. We invite you to join us at Argyle Adventure Boot Camp and let us help you get in the best shape of your life!
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” -Earl Nightingale
This holiday season embrace the spirit by connecting with friends and family. Hold your intention to focus on what is most meaningful to you about holiday gatherings and enjoy the magic! Above all else, remember to breathe.
Norma Zitterkopf is a Certified Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach and owner of Argyle Adventure Boot Camp. For more information visit www.ArgyleBootCamp.com. Call (214) 729-0001.