And now- let the true temptations begin. Thanksgiving is special; you have a day where you indulge and allow yourself to dive into those mashed potatoes and gravy so hard that you go into a food coma for hours on end. Christmas is a whole other story. It isn't just one day you indulge, but we turn it into a "holiday season indulgence," lasting from the day after Thanksgiving until we return to school or work. If you're doing the holidays right, you're surrounded by sugar cookies, brownies, candy canes, eggnog, etc.; but just because you're surrounded by these temptations, that doesn't mean you have to let the Santa cookies win the battle. It is possible to indulge in your favorites, but not let it sabotage your healthy lifestyle.
Here are a few simple tricks I have put together to help me stay on track during the holiday season:
1) Save your calories for only the special holiday treats- How many times a year are you offered cute little gingerbread men or your Grandma's homemade cheesecake? Probably only once a year, so choose those desserts to indulge in instead of store-bought cookies with icing you can get any other day of the year.
2) Focus on fun, not food- They typically go hand-in-hand, but don't let food distract you from having fun with family you may only see once or twice a year. Make a goal to focus more on immersing yourself into old (and new) traditions that don't have to revolve around food.
3) Plan ahead- If anything, plan ahead. We don't want to throw ourselves into the holiday season "hoping for the best." Instead, be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to indulge because you know you might anyways. Don't restrict yourself all day if that's going to lead to a binge- have an honest conversation with yourself.
4) Stay Active- Whether this is a habit of yours or a new goal, staying active is extremely important during the holidays. Don't work out because you want to "burn off those 5 bites of cheesecake"; work out to feel good about yourself and have a clear mind throughout the holidays. Releasing those endorphins can do just the trick in making good decisions when surrounded by those holidays sweets.
5) Eat your Veggies- Not only do they offer countless amounts of vitamins and minerals, they offer the most important nutrient around the holidays, fiber. Fiber from raw vegetables will keep you full and allow you to only eat until you're full. Offer to bring a veggie tray to the holiday parties and eat a small plate before the meal.
6) Stay away from the "stretchy pants"- Ah, the ones who are always there for you when you've eaten more than your stomach can handle. We all love them; however, these pants are an invitation to overeat. Leave the roomy pants behind and opt for skinny jeans, slim-fit suit, or a tight dress to resist going back for thirds. **Bonus- you'll look hot while doing it!
7) Water, Water, and some more Water- Hydration is key, friends! Just like veggies, water keeps you full so you don't eat more than your body can handle. It also flushes out the toxins and keeps you feelin' your best! How much should you drink? Try the 8 x 8 rule (8 oz., 8 times a day).
8) Try the "fork trick"- One thing we struggle with when it comes to holiday eating is knowing how much food we're eating, and when to stop. To help gauge how much you're consuming, try this trick: Once you take a bite of food, place your fork down on the plate, and let go of the fork. Chew your food, swallow, and then pick up your fork again. The key to this trick is actually letting go of the fork. This will remind you to slow down, enjoy your food, and converse with friends and family.
9) Sweat it out on New Year's Day- This is a very valuable lesson I learned from my Grandpa. One who always put health first, he taught me that starting your New Year's with a killer workout will set the tone for the rest of the year. Your body will thank you for sweating out that one too many glasses of champagne.
These are tips that I use to get me through the holiday season without feeling bloated after the holidays season and I hope they can help you out too! Don't forget to subscribe below and follow me on Instagram @fitnotskinnny (3 n's) to keep up during the holidays! Don't forget to have a FIT, not skinny holiday :)