What it takes to have a HEALTHY TIGER HOLIDAY
Well, it’s official. Another holiday season is upon us, and we all know what that means- food, food, and more delicious food. Whether it’s with old friends or at your grandma’s house with the family, everything over the holidays seems to revolve around eating. And what great food it is, too! All of the casseroles, pies, and cookies taste amazing, but by December 31st we are all mentally preparing ourselves to start that new years weight loss resolution by way of eating very little and moving around a whole lot. The question is WHY does it have to be this way every year!? It would be so nice to be able to eat everything and not have to jump up and down to get in your jeans by the time the new year rolls around, but unfortunately for most people that isn’t the way the cookie crumbles. So what is the answer to keeping those holidays pounds off while still enjoying the treats and of course the company of your friends and family? Here are a few tips for a Healthy Tiger Holiday:
1. Take Control! Don’t “save up” the day before holiday get-togethers by skipping meals. Doing this will most likely make you binge eat and consume way more calories than are needed on a daily basis. The best thing to do the day of a party or get-together is to make sure to eat breakfast and snack on healthier things throughout the day to keep from being starving by the time you get there. Once you are ready to eat, try to choose more foods that are grilled or baked than those that are fried, full of cheese, sauce, or butter. Try to make 1/2 of your plate vegetables/fruit, 1/4 starch, and 1/4 protein.
2. Watch those portions! Feel free to take a little bit of everything - get a taste of all the holiday foods you know and love, but don’t stuff yourself with them! When faced with the option between fruit salad or pecan pie, try to taking a big scoop of the fruit and a little sliver of pie. Also, listen to your body. Fix one plate and see how full you feel after it. If your stomach, not eyes and heart, are saying you’re still hungry, take a little bit more.
3. Get to moving! Exercising every day can help you keep those holiday pounds off, so go jog and listen to Christmas music, hike or bike with the family, or if you’d rather stay inside, do some squats and crunches during the commercial breaks when you’re watching Christmas Vacation or The Grinch!
4. Lose the Booze! Okay, well maybe not all of it, unless you have the will power to! Let’s be honest, the majority of holiday parties are going to have some type of alcohol, and you will likely be tempted to drink it. Try to keep this at a minimum if at all possible! Drinking can have negative effects on your body up to 72 hours after consumption PLUS, there is little to no nutritional value in alcoholic beverages, so though it is enticing and sometimes fun to drink, try to abstain or at least limit your consumption!
5. Don’t Deprive! Finally, make sure you don’t deprive yourself completely from what you want to eat, but also don’t gorge on everything in sight that looks good. Try to strike a balance between the two extremes and you can have a happy and healthy holiday season without the unnecessary weight gain or feeling like you are missing out on the foods you enjoy.
Most importantly, spend as much time as you can with the people you love and have a wonderful holiday season!
Contributed by: Lauren Silvio, RD