So the first thing to remember is to approach the holiday season the same way you approach the rest of the year! At this time of year we get so caught up in all things indulgent and we allow one day to dictate about six weeks.
These are my tips to help prevent the dreaded holiday weight gain, allowing you freedom to eat your favourite foods and not have to start something on January 1st!
- Think about why these holiday foods cause such a response. If you leave me alone with some Stollen Cake I will gladly eat it, because it holds childhood memories for me. I have some every year, but I do not buy a lot of it because no one else eats it. So to prevent me from eating all the cake, I buy one slice at some point and that’s it! Rather than removing the food entirely be smart and buy one serving or if you are baking your favourite cookies, bake them for friends & family – allow them to also enjoy your favourite foods…and keep a couple for yourself.
- Don’t forget about your reason why. Remember your reason why, the reason you want to change your lifestyle, isn’t just as important between October and January?
- Plan your exercise/gym time. It can be really tough to get a workout in when you are working, shopping, wrapping and socialising. If you workout at home, plan some time in your day to get a quick HIIT session done. If like me you prefer going to the gym, find out the holiday opening hours and plan when you will go.
- Pre load! So a little tip I learnt from Jade Teta is to pre load before you go out for dinner…or worse those Christmas party buffets. What he suggests is that prior to going out you pre load with a protein shake. This tip has been a valuable tool for me this year, and I have used it more than once. The protein shake helps me make more sensible choices when I get to the restaurant or party because I am not as hungry.
- If you love baking holiday treats (sugar cookies anyone?) look for some healthier versions on the Internet. There are some great sites out there offering recipes with alternative ingredients, think coconut flour, xylitol, coconut oil, dark chocolate etc. Some of my favourite sites include Sukrin, Skinny Taste, Body Building.com, Protein Pow and Amys Healthy Baking. Last year I made some AMAZING sugar free gingerbread & they were kid approved – check out the recipe here.
- Eat ya veggies! It may seem so simple, but one of the biggest parts of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner is all the vegetables. I drive my husband insane each year because I always buy too many vegetables – but I pile them high on my plate! I start with the turkey and vegetables and the rest is an afterthought.