How to Survive the “Holiday Five”…
The holidays are great for oh so many reasons: an excitement in the air, special time with friends and family, twinkling lights and decorations and delicious food. Yes, very delicious food indeed! From the kick-off of Halloween (how do you not avoid grabbing a candy from the bowl at work or sneaking that Baby Ruth out of your kid’s bag?).. all the way to that final clink of the champagne glasses on New Years Eve, there is a mega-increase in our caloric intake. Enjoying your time with loved ones at fun events is necessary for the mind and soul. Let yourself unwind a little! However, there are a few things you can do to lessen the blow and not feel like you let it all go come January 2nd.
1. Avoid the “appetizer situation.”
Think about what your favorite foods are during the holiday season. What are you really looking forward to at Thanksgiving dinner? Is it mashed potatoes? That is my personal favorite, so I think about that as I walk through the door. The appetizer table is the most dangerous moment of the night. All the bites are little and easy to eat, so walking in and shoving a million pieces of cheese and baguette in your mouth can happen before you even realize you’re eating it. When it comes time to sit down and eat what you’ve really been looking forward to (ehhemm..mashed potatoes), you don’t slow down, but eat the same amount you would have. I think we’ve all had the moment of unbuttoning the top bottom of our jeans under our sweater. Was that an over-share? I’m not saying you won’t feel full, but the appetizers hit you when you are first there and excitedly chatting away, hungry and not paying attention. Mingle around and chat with people and avoid posting up at the appetizer buffet!
2. Drink a big glass of water before showing up at your event or before people show up if you’re hosting.
There are lots of reasons for this. By drinking a big glass of water, you don’t show up completely famished to an event. Hitting the canapes is not a great idea when hungry, because you’re mind won’t register that you’re full until you sit down to actually eat dinner. Drinking a full glass of h2o will tell your mind, “It’s cool, you’re not that hungry,” hence avoiding an onslaught of high calorie mini-bites. Additionally, there is a major increase in how much we drink during these festive get togethers. As you’re drinking, you are dehydrating your body and putting a lot of sugars in yourself. The glass of water will help your body to stay hydrated, not feel quite so hungover the next day, and probably drink less or at least drink more slowly.
3. Pass the rolls…right past your plate.
The rolls going around the table are the least important thing. Big dinners have so many delicious things, do you really want that plain white bread roll? I think not. If you told me I could have a roll or stuffing, or a roll or pie, and so on, I would never pick the roll. We have the option to have bread year round and it is nothing but empty, filling calories that we end of mindlessly eating. Take portions of the food you want, but avoid things like the rolls that you honestly don’t really care about.
4. Portion Control.
If you have the option to serve yourself, take a little of everything you want, but don’t make it ridiculous portions. We eat what is in front of us. If there is more food on your plate, you better believe you’re eating all of it even if your body has already let your mind know it is beyond full. That’s just our nature, if it’s there, we will keep eating because we think we might as well and it’s pretty dang delicious. Being engaged in conversation is also distracting, so mindless eating will happen because you aren’t paying attention. Remember dinner is never the end, there’s going to be another round of desserts which may be the most high calorie and delicious of all. So as you’re standing in the buffet line with your plate, remember to be kind to yourself. Don’t overwhelm your plate, but make sure to get the things you really want.
Enjoy your holidays! Letting your hair down is an important part of life, but completely letting yourself go during the holidays is not healthy for your body and isn’t going to do you any favors in the new year. It’s all about moderation, not necessarily denying yourself. Be kind to yourself, have a great couple weeks, and happy holidays from The Pilates Fix!