We’re right in the middle of the most tempting time of year. Everywhere you look there are cookies, candy, cocktails, parties, and overabundant dinner tables. Its no fun to skip out on this stuff (and who on earth has the will power to do that?), but its also no fun to barely fit in your clothes come January. So how do we enjoy the season while also maintaining weight? Here are a few practical tips:
- Wear form-fitting clothes to holiday parties and meals. If you have a button that starts to poke into your belly when you’ve eaten too much, or are wearing a tight shirt that will quickly reveal that extra piece of fudge, you’re less likely to overindulge. Plus, if you are dressed up and feeling cute, you’ll be focused on your confident self, not the food table.
- Boost your activity level. If you already exercise frequently, add 15 minutes of cardio to your routine during the month of December. If you don’t already exercise, start by walking briskly 30 minutes three times per week. If you fall somewhere in the middle, squeeze in some extra activity wherever you can. Even doing 10 push-ups, 10 squats, and 10 tricep dips every morning or evening can make a difference.
- Indulge in what you love. If you’re a chocolate person, walk past the Russian tea cookies and lemon bars and head straight for the peppermint bark. If you love mashed potatoes, skip the buttered rolls and stuffing and scoop yourself a generous portion of taters. We all want to try everything, but this will ruin us. Just stick to what you already know you love, and you’ll end up eating less overall.
- Don’t skip meals. Eat regular, healthy meals when you’re not at a party or get-together. If you skip meals in an attempt to “save room” for whatever is coming later, you’ll be too hungry to make reasonable food choices and will end up overeating. Try to keep a regular routine between holiday events, and plan ahead for indulgences.
- Remember, all this stuff will be here next year too. Its easy to feel like this is the ONLY TIME we’ll ever get to eat all these tasty treats, which helps us justify overindulging. But in reality, we have occasions to indulge all year long, and anyway time between the holidays passes pretty quickly when you live a busy life. So don’t feel pressure to pound gallons of eggnog before it leaves the shelves for a year; instead, enjoy a cup while keeping in mind that it won’t be long before you get to have it again.