It's that time of year again! The leaves have begun to change; there's a chill in the air. You guessed it! The holiday season is upon us!
To many of us, the holidays are a time to get together with family, friends, and coworkers. It's a time when family gatherings and work parties alike may take precedence over something that the majority of individuals reading this article share a passion for fitness! And with our love for fitness comes the ever popular regimented nutrition plan that we all take pride in.
Now, this doesn't mean that you have to throw in the towel during this time of year. It might just take a few minor adjustments to your routine to enjoy yourself at social gatherings, all without missing a beat on your diet.
I have compiled a list containing a few basic tips and tricks that may help you get through your office party or grandmas holiday dinner without totally sabotaging your hard work and efforts!
Drink Lots Of Water
Not only will it keep you hydrated, but drinking a few glasses of water pre-party will also help you feel full, therefore, the likelihood of taking a second or third helping might be out of the question!
Scan the dessert tray or table during the social function. Take time to think which dessert you would want more than any other and choose that dessert.
I know, it's easier said than done, but having a treat to look forward to at the end of the evening instead of gobbling up everything in sight will offer a sense of greater fulfillment!
Eat Normally Throughout The Day
It may seem logical to "bank" calories throughout the day. But, in reality, skipping breakfast, lunch, and/or normal snacks will only set you up for disaster. You'll end up feeling unfulfilled and even hungry by the time you hit the big event, thus, overindulging on things that you might not normally eat!
So, before saving up your calories, think twice. Again, pick a few favorite items and stick to one portion each - you will feel much better in the long run.
Wear A Favorite Outfit
...Or pants, or shirt, or little black dress. You get the idea! Think about it. How hard did you have to work to fit into your size 4 pants?
Wearing a clothing item that makes you feel good about the way that you look might make you think twice before reaching for a monster size slice of chocolate cheesecake!
OK, it might sound silly, but popping a piece (or two!) of exceptionally minty chewing gum in your mouth might be just what you need to avoid eating that second helping.
Try a piece of Extra Polar Ice. The mint flavor is so potent that even your favorite pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing won't taste good after chewing it!
Get A Workout In
Exercise makes you feel good, right? So, why not make it your goal to have an awesome workout the morning of, or day of your social event? Setting a goal and sticking to it will grant you a sense of accomplishment throughout the day.
It's mind over matter at times, folks, and attending a party in a good frame of mind will help you stick to your overall goals and not lose sight of the big picture. What better way to do that than with a great lift, run, or spin class?
Veggies, Veggies, Veggies
Once you're at the party, scope out the location of the veggie tray. Filling up on snacks such as raw vegetables will help you feel full, thus allowing you to eat less during the party.
Beware, though; even eating a little bit of creamy ranch dip can add up to a lot of calories in the end! Spoon a small amount of dip onto your plate and once it's gone, that's it!
Wine, beer, vodka, and oh yes, the dreaded eggnog! Some of us do enjoy the occasional splurge here and there, but remember; there are healthier alternatives to your favorite party beverages.
A few helpful hints are: Add a bit of club soda to a half glass of wine, stick to diet or calorie free mixers for rum and vodka, drink light beer instead of dark, and always enjoy in moderation. Limit yourself to one or two.
Another little trick that I find helpful is reminding yourself how many miles you would have to run/bike to burn off all of those extra alcohol calories.
Steer clear of eggnog unless you really (and I mean really) have to have it! With that being said, in the case that you do indulge in a bit of this festive treat, keep it to a small glass and sip slowly.
Yes! Standing out of arm's reach of the buffet or dessert table could be the ticket! Engage yourself in conversation with friends or colleagues, or join in on party games and I'm sure that in no time you'll forget that piece of grandma's pumpkin roll you've been eyeballing since you entered the party.
Don't lose sight that the main reason for a celebration is to socialize and catch up with family and friends!
Ignore The Comments
Don't let a negative influence drag you down. We've all heard it: "Oh my gosh, lighten up...I can't believe you won't have just one cookie!" You've worked hard to look and feel the way that you do. Don't let the comments and criticisms of others influence your goals.
Keep It In Perspective
If you totally fall off the wagon, pick up right where you left off. When you wake up the following morning tell yourself: "Today is a new day, I'm going to start over right where I left off," and do just that. No excuses. Just do it!
Check back soon when I share a complete list of delicious healthy recipes that you can use during the holidays, parties, or any time of year, to avoid sabotoging a healthy diet and the fit body you've worked so hard to build.