Did you know that the average American gains between 5-7 pounds during the holiday season? For example, if you were to have average servings of sweet potato pie, turkey and a slice of pecan pie you are more than likely consuming over 1600 calories, and that’s not even counting the cheese ball, glass of wine or mixed nuts you sampled before you sat down to eat Thanksgiving dinner. In order to burn off all those calories you would need to run about 16 miles. I don’t know about you, but I have run 16 miles before and it is not that fun. However you can be strategic when planning your holiday menu and party gatherings in order to keep that summer bod in check. Even though there might be snow on the ground, swimsuit season is only six months away. Here are a few tips and tricks to stay on track so those skinny jeans will just slide on.
- Even though Thanksgiving dinner is only one meal, try to be smart when filling your plate. Feel free to pile on the crudités, salad, fruit and light turkey meat. Stay away from the green bean salad (those fried onions are really high in calories) anything fried and watch your bread intake. A good trick I learned is to only put two things on your plate at a time. Studies show that variety stimulates appetite, so you will consume less calories than if you take a few bites of many dishes.
- Get moving! Don’t skip the gym just because it is a holiday. Many gyms have fun “turkey burns” or other types of motivational classes during the holidays. Even on Christmas when everything is closed, I love going on a brisk walk and getting some fresh air. I have found that it is much easier to squeeze in my workouts first thing before the chaos begins. Exercise also helps the mind make healthier food choices, so you can start your day off with a healthy breakfast.
- Don’t skip meals. Try to eat sensibly leading up to a big meal. Make sure to get enough protein before as well. This will help keep you full longer and curb your cravings. The easiest way to do this is to drink a simple protein shake before you head out the door. Focus on getting between 20-30 grams before the meal.
- Choose wisely. It’s ok to be picky. I like to try to healthiest food at the table and eat that first. Then I pick out one or two things I want to indulge in and have a very small serving of each. There is nothing worse than wasting calories on something that turns out isn’t that good. Quality over quantity.
- Wear tight fitting clothes. I know this sounds nuts, but studies have shown that when you wear form fitting clothes you are significantly less likely to overeat.
- Don’t drink your calories. Alcoholic beverages, fruity punches, and spicy ciders are loaded with sugar and very high in calories. If you want to have a drink just make sure to alternate with water in between each drink. And if you want dessert maybe put down that cup of cider. Sugar is sugar whether it is liquid or not.
- Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things! Try making your favorite dish without the extra fat or sugar. Bake the turkey instead of frying it, use whole grain rolls instead of white, or try making your favorite dessert using healthier oils such as coconut or olive oil.
Just in time for the holidays, Lisa has created a healthy, but still yummy recipe book, Veggie Lisa Healthy Treats. Included are 15 yummy, good-for-you recipes that will tempt your taste buds without tipping the scales.Click here to buy and it will be sent straight to your front door.