alcohol exercise

Stay ahead of the holiday weight gain: A few tricks, so you can enjoy the treats!

Friday, October 24, 2014 Brittany Lohmann

Halloween is next week, and October’s spookiest night will kick off this year’s holiday season. Before you will be even begin to put away all of your candy, we will begin the short-lived, busy weeks heading towards Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then New Years. Over the course of the next couple of months, there will be parties with friends, work gatherings, and family dinners – which may make it difficult to get to the gym and to keep your diet in check. As a result, while you are putting on the final touches of your costume for the party, also consider using these few tricks to stay ahead of all of the treats (and calories!) you will likely encounter.  

Scan the buffet table. When attending social functions, make sure that you scan the buffet table for what is available before loading up your plate. Assessing your choices first before filling your plate will allow yourself to eat the best food available as well as allow yourself to splurge – but do so in moderation. While one or two small cookies are not going to cause your waistline to expand, trying all six options may leave you feeling a little guilty and a little less confident about the notch in your belt.

Savor what is special. It’s Thanksgiving, and your grandma makes a mean pecan pie. Since you only grandma’s pie only comes around once a year, you want to make sure that you can enjoy the indulgence. So be sure to plan ahead: eat smaller portions during the main course; try to exercise at some point during the day to make room for the extra calories; and savor your piece of pie. Eat slowly, enjoy it, and then avoid all of the additional dessert options that have always have never even come close to grandma’s pie.

Hold back on the drinks. Aside from all of the small plates and treats, drinking large amounts of alcohol not only leads to a lot of unneeded calories (but also the potential to being over-served – something you and your boss do not need to experience!) Try to limit yourself to one or two cocktails over the course of the evening; limit consumption by drinking a glass of water in between each drink and/or switching over to soda water. Aside from cutting back on the amount of drinks you are having in an evening, also try options that have less sugar, such as red wine.

Plan ahead. When you are traveling to and fro, try to plan ahead to ensure that you have some healthy options. Pack healthy snacks that are well-portioned and easily accessible for when hunger strikes. It may save you some cash on the expensive products at the airport and/or prevent you from indulging in that candy bar at the convenience store.

Work it out… anywhere.  During the holidays, all of the parties, gatherings, and traveling can cut into gym time. However, that does not mean you still can’t keep moving throughout the day. Simple things, such as parking further away in the lot while you run errands and taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help burn a few extra calories. Plus, even if you have twenty minutes to yourself, performing body weight exercises, for example push ups, sit ups, squats, lunges, etc., can help you get in a brief, hard-hitting workout.

The holidays are an exciting time of year, but can also be dangerous on your waistline if you don’t take proper action. So this year – stay ahead of the holiday weight gain, starting with Halloween, so you can take on a more inspiring New Year’s resolution (the next Great American Novel, anyone?) and, of course, enjoy yourself.

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