Just because it is Christmas time doesn’t mean you have to gain the 5 – 10 pounds all the “studies” say you will gain this season. There are lots of ways to not just be a statistic.
Of course, there are obvious ones like not skipping your workouts during this season (it is more important now that you make those workouts) or the ones about eating before you head to the Christmas Party (this helps you control what you eat once you get there).
How about trying a few of these as well:
1. Be a double fisted drinker. Club soda with a twist in one hand, a clean drink in the other. A clean alcohol can either be potato vodka (simply pour over ice, squeeze a little orange on it. Or you can partake in champagne or a wine. Whatever you do, limit your intake to 2 – there are so many reasons why you should heed this advice!)
2. Definitely partake in the fare of the party. However, before just digging in like a caveman who has had no food for months, take your time to survey the smorgasbord. Make the cleanest, lightest choices you can. For example, choice the shrimp cocktail (minus that sugar filled sauce) over the crab puffs. Choose the raw veggies over the fried chicken (ok, that’s gotta be obvious).
3. Limit yourself to a SAMPLING of the choices you’ve made. You don’t need a lot of anything – after all, you ate a clean, full meal before you headed over to the party!
4. Add an extra 15 minutes to your cardio workout. Or up your incline. Either one works. More burn, more damage control. While I don’t advise clients to try and lose weight over the holidays, I do try to get them to do adequate damage control.
5. Cook as much of the holiday meals as you can. That way you control what you eat, and what is in it. And you don’t have to conform to what every other household in America is eating – you have permission to toss out that traditional green bean casserole and go with some awesome grilled asparagus!!
6. Christmas and New Years is a day – not a multitude of days. And just because you indulge in one meal, doesn’t mean you should continue indulging the rest of the day. Pick the meal you want to indulge and enjoy it. And then stop.
7. You don’t have to eat until you need to unbuckle your pants. That is just silly. And gross.
8. Drink a glass of water before you even sit down to eat. Eat slow, enjoy the conversation (or the dysfunctionalism) that is going on around you and feel free to leave food on the plate. We are no longer in the depression – you don’t have to clear your plate. There will be more food later. Trust me.
9. Everybody else napping or sleeping in? Get up and go for a run (or a walk). Just 30 minutes will revive you, energize you, give you some quality “me” time that you probably are craving and just gets you out of that craziness of relatives and such. Let’s not forget, it’ll help with damage control.
10. If you’re a baker, then be a giver. Bake & Give away. That way, you won’t wander into the kitchen in the middle of the night and accidently put one of those Knock You Naked Brownies in your mouth.
For the sake of starting you off to a healthy holiday appetizer, I thought I’d share a favorite of mine. Note: recipes are from thatsfit.com
A favorite in our house are those dips served in the Hawaiin Bread bowl! Delish! But I just hate that the typical spinach and artichoke dip is loaded with over 1,000 calories and 100 grams of fat. Thanks to thatsfit.com, this healthier alternative uses Greek yogurt and low-fat mayo for full flavor and only 126 calories! No one will suspect it’s a lightened-up version! (Remember that calorie counts are per serving and a serving is typically 2 TBSP).
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- o 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- o 6-ounce container nonfat Greek yogurt (such as Fage or Chobani)
- o 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- o 1 clove garlic, minced
- o 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- o 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
- o 1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella, shredded
1. Heat oven to 350F
2. Mix ingredients; spoon into 9-inch quiche dish or pie plate.
3. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.
Serves: 8 (1/4 cup) Nutritional Content per Serving: 126 calories, 8 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 10 g protein, 6g fat, 03 g sat fat, 264 mg sodium
And instead of putting your dip in one of those awesome bread bowls, buy yourself an even more awesome (and reusable) Christmas bowl (like the one above) to plop your dip into. And then, make some of these awesome chips (or serve with raw veggies)! Again, these recipes are courtesy of thatsfit.com.
Roasted Vegetable "Chips"
- o Cooking spray
- o 2 medium zucchini,
- o sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices
- o 2 medium yellow summer squash, sliced crosswise in 1/8-inch thick slices
- o 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 1/8-inch thick slices
- o 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- o 1 tablespoon oregano, or to taste
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 200 F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. Place zucchini and squash in a single layer on one baking sheet.
3. Place carrots on other sheet in a single layer.
4. Coat vegetables with cooking spray and season tops of vegetables with salt and oregano.
5. Roast for 1 hour, then rotate trays. Roast until vegetables are crisp and dry, about 30 to 60 minutes more.
Tip: Use a mandolin to evenly slice vegetables if you have one.
Serves: 6 Nutrition Content per Serving: 40 calories, 8.4 g carbohydrate, 2.8 g fiber, 2 g protein, 0.5 g total fat, 0.1 g saturated fat, 425 mg sodium
So…break the trend! Stay on track, workout harder, watch your choices and have a great Christmas. You’ll be one of those on New Years Day that won’t HAVE to join the gym.