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Hello everyone! Today, I thought I would share some of my favorite tips and tricks with you, on the topic of Trying Not To Go Overboard On The Gingerbread Man Cookies. If you’re in need of some guidance on how to maintain your health this holiday season, read on…
1. WATCH YOUR PORTIONS
The easiest way for me to remember how to control my portions is to make sure the majority of my plate is loaded up with veggies. You don’t have to deny yourself a bread roll or a slice of pie here and there…just make sure vegetables are the main part of your meal. That way, you will fill up on healthy, nutritious, and low-calorie foods before it’s time to splurge on the indulgent stuff. When you pile your plate at the buffet, remember where all that food is going. It’s essential for energy, but what about the overflow? That goes straight to your hips and thighs. Be vigilant to only eat when you are actually hungry. If you’re unsure, have a glass of water and see how you feel after. Ideally, you should aim to fill 40% of your plate with complex carbs such as vegetables or fruits. The other 40% should be a lean protein (that’s turkey–without the skin). And the remaining 20% of your plate may be dedicated to fats like dessert, butter or oils. (Remember to eat slowly and chew.) Seconds are very tempting this time of year. Before heading back for round two, drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes. More often than not, you will realize you’re already full. Instead of another helping, save room for dessert! If you’re especially concerned about gaining weight, use a smaller plate to keep holiday gloat at bay.
2. SCHEDULE YOUR WORKOUTS
I know it seems obvious, but many of us muddle our fitness schedules during the winter months. Cold air and an erratic social calendar filled with holiday festivities can really throw off your exercise regime. Nevertheless, this is probably the most important time of year to sweat it out! Make time to work out. Schedule it into your calendar. I cannot stress this enough: Make fitness a priority. Not only will working out help you de-stress, it will also keep your metabolism revved up and ready to handle all of your holiday feasting. To offset increased caloric intake, tack on an extra 10 minutes of cardio to your workout sessions. I also try to walk after big meals like Thanksgiving dinner–it’s amazing what a lap around the neighborhood can do for your digestion and legs!
3. GRAB A BUDDY
The holidays are everyone’s favorite time of year to reunite with with family and friends. One great way to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while is to make your get-together an active one. If one of your besties is in town for the holidays, plan a walking coffee date with her. Suggest a “meeting hike,” or business meetings that take place while hiking a trail. Apply the same concept to your holiday catch-ups with friends and family to stay active and be social at the same time.
4. START COUNTING
While I’d like to think holiday treats are magically sprinkled with non-fattening fairy dust, the calories are unfortunately still there. Darn it! Since it’s easy to forget of what you’ve eaten, keep track by adding calories on the calculator of your phone or with one of the many calorie-tracking apps. I’ve never been a fan of counting calories, but it really helps keep holiday binging in perspective. When appetizers are in the mix, keep the leftover toothpicks in your hand or on your plate so you have a better idea of how many you have eaten. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean the calories are smaller too! The bottom line: Be aware of how much you are putting in your mouth.
5. MAXIMIZE YOUR WORKOUTS
No one wants to spend all day in the gym when there is holiday shopping, dinner parties, and bundling up to do. So, if you only have 30 minutes to spare, make it worth your time by amping up your workout. One of my favorite ways to maximize my workouts is by doing interval training.
6. DON’T GO HUNGRY
Hunger leads us to do crazy things: Binge on chocolate-covered gummy bears, down a 700-calorie soft pretzel as a snack or absentmindedly eat three cookies instead of one. Don’t let yourself become ravenous, ladies! When you go gift shopping, pack a healthy snack such as trail mix or a granola bar to stave off mid-day hunger. We all know the food court isn’t going to do your waistline any favors. Additionally don’t show up hungry either. If you’re going to a holiday fete, have a healthy snack before heading out the door to avoid gorging on the cookie platter upon your arrival.
7. DRINK WISELY
The holidays bring out all the good stuff that’s not-so-good for your figure such as hot cocoa, whipped cream, specialty “once a year” drinks, Irish Cream coffee (yum), the like. While wining and dining is fun, flex your self-control by either limiting yourself or making tradeoffs. If you’re going to have that delicious cup of hot chocolate, skip the peppermint bark–and voila, you have traded off. As for alcoholic libations, treat yourself to one specialty drink. Instead of refilling with a second, stick to low calorie drinks such as vodka-water with lime for the remainder of the night. In between drinks, have a glass of water. Drinking too much can lead to eating too much. Keep you inhibitions in check by pacing yourself. Finally, whether you’re sipping on the sweet side or treating yourself to something new, it’s especially important to stay hydrated with water. People who drink more water, consume less food, which means less calories. Before you eat anything, have one tall glass of water. I promise, this is one of my favorite tricks. Another trick: replace sugary drink mixers with soda water. If you’re the type who likes specialty drinks, indulge in just one. Then, choose a low-cal option for your second drink. And don’t forget to drink enough water to stave off any unnecessary cravings, too. I recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day to stay healthy and keep your appetite in check.
8. GET FESTIVE WITH YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE
Exercise is often disguised in fun activities we love doing with friends and family. In fact, anything that gets you breathing and gets your heart rate up will help to burn calories during the holidays (and burn off that pumpkin pie, too). Ice skating, sledding, and snowball fights all count as exercise! According to Daily Makeover, ice-skating actually burns 420 calories per hour. Or, if you live somewhere that’s warm enough to exercise outdoors, grab your family for a game of flag football—it burns 450 calories per hour. Who said you had to go to a gym to log in your workout?
9. PAMPER YOURSELF
I’ll admit that when the weather cools down, I always want to indulge in every way—eating, shopping, bar hopping, you name it. But, I have recently found that when I feel like pigging out during the holidays, giving myself a little TLC is much better for my waistline. So, instead of indulging in baked goods and comfort food, I pamper myself with an at-home spa treatment. Try indulging in a DIY facial, a personal mani/pedi, or a relaxing hair mask. If you’re like me, you will notice that these little beauty indulgences will have you focusing on feeling beautiful from the inside out…and snacking on junk food will sound anything but appealing.
Do you have any tips on staying healthy and feeling energizing during the holiday season?
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