Holiday Survival Tips

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Between Halloween and New Years, we are bombarded with candy, baked goods, cheese platters, alcohol, and more. By indulging selectively and staying active, you will find that you can thoroughly enjoy this time of year while maintaining or perhaps even losing weight.

Indulge selectively

Overconsumption of sugar is a predominant cause of weight gain during the holidays. Each time you eat sugar it creates a domino effect of energy swings, calorie storage, and intensified sugar cravings. Indulge selectively, allowing yourself to enjoy the things you truly love while passing on everything else. This strategy will keep your overall sugar intake low, while still allowing you to take pleasure in the occasional treat. 

Stock up on healthy treats

Stock up on nature's delicacies of the season such as pomegranates, persimmons, satsuma tangerines and pears. It's much easier to pass by the cookie platter when you have delicious fresh fruit waiting for you at your desk. Fruit's naturally occurring fiber slows the absorption of its sugars for a stable release of energy. If you are a chocolate lover, satisfy your cravings with a small serving of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate (70-88% cocoa). Both fresh fruit and cocoa are rich sources of health promoting antioxidants and phytonutrients. 

Pick two parties & two family gatherings

Pick the two best parties of the season and two family gatherings to go all out, no restrictions. This adds up to four “Free Pass Meals” during the holiday season. For all other parties and gatherings set a predetermined limit for alcohol (0-2 drinks) and allocate half of your plate for vegetables, a quarter for non-dairy protein foods, and the remaining quarter for everything else. Bring a veggie platter or large salad to share with other health-minded guests and to ensure you have something healthy to eat.

Enjoy a mocktail

When at parties, fill a cocktail glass with sparkly water, a wedge of lime, and a splash of cranberry juice- nobody will know the difference. You will save yourself a significant number of calories and feel great the next day. While others are nursing a hangover with greasy food, you’ll be on your way to your workout.

Best practices at a buffet

When you are at a buffet, scan the entire spread before putting anything on your plate. Start with veggies, then protein foods, then everything else. Sit far away from the buffet table with your back to it.

Squeeze in your workouts

This may require some creativity and flexibility, but it can be done. Plan to meet up with a friend, personal trainer, or join a fitness class to reinforce accountability. Set a weekly workout schedule. Days when you are tight on time, shorten your workout but don't skip it. If despite your best efforts, a formal workout is not in the cards, sneak in a 15-minute walk before work, at lunch, and after work. 

Plan physical outings with houseguests

Hosting houseguests can be all consuming. Take your guests to a local park for a group hike. This is a perfect opportunity to show off the natural treasures in your area as well as escape the confines of an overcrowded house. Chances are, your guests will be craving the open air as much as you.