It’s exactly two weeks until Christmas, we’re half way through Hanukkah, Solstice is just around the corner and so is every other important winter holiday. What does this mean? Food. And not just any food, we’re talking the crème de la crème of food; usually the best food we’ll eat all year! Your favourite desserts, entrées, appetizers and even drinks are prevalent this time of the year and I can pretty guarantee that absolutely NONE of them are particularly good for you!
Me? I’m a bread pudding kinda gal. If given the chance of not puking, I’d probably eat the entire dish, especially if covered in sauce. I’m also a huge fan of egg nog, coconut Ferrero Rocher (I die… ) and stuffing. Give me a whole plate of stuffing and I’m a happy camper! But just because I’m a pretty health conscious chica doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy these calorie laden indulgences or that I become guilt-ridden by eating them. Quite the contrary! You won’t tear me away from my bread pudding and if you put your paws on my Lindor I’ll bite your frickin’ head off! Nope, I eat it all!
My secret to being able to indulge this time of year without gaining weight, however, lies in three simple rules:
1. Make The Rest Of Your Meals Count
Eat healthy the majority of the time. It’s totally fine to have a cookie or two at work if everything else you’re eating is filled with whole and healthy foods. If you’re going to a party in the evening, eat well all day up to the party. If it’s a luncheon, make sure you eat amazingly before and after. This helps to minimize the impact on the calories you’ll indulge in during your party.
2. Indulge, But Don’t Overindulge
I could eat an entire dish of bread pudding but I won’t! My rule of thumb for the holidays is that if given the chance, I can have bread pudding every day if I want to BUT, I can only have a little bit. Then, I savour every little bite. There’s a proverb out there that I can’t remember its origin (or the exact words for that matter) that says the first bite is always the best bite. The more of the dish you eat, the less tasty it gets. Just think – the first slice of maple glazed ham tastes amazing but after your 4th or 5th slice you can’t taste anything other than how full your stomach is. Have a small slice (if it’s dessert, cut it in half – even if it’s tiny already) and savour every bite!
3. Go Hard In Your Workouts
I don’t want to hear how busy you are, if you’re complaining that you gain weight every holiday I want you to either go harder in your workouts or add more sweat sessions to your week (preferably both). We have a nasty tendency to cut back on everything in December for no real reason. Sure we have extra parties but you’re not partying every single day! This is the time to go hard in your workouts, do all the advanced moves that you wuss out on every other time, add speed sessions to your runs, do a crazy hard workout for the month, whatever it is, get your heart rate up so that you’re burning more calories throughout the day to offset the extra calories. If you don’t want to go that route (ya big baby!), add more workouts to your week! Go out for more walks or runs, invite friends to go to a fitness class with you for the month (why not treat yourself to a month pass?), take the stairs whenever you can, do squats at your desk – whatever it takes to get you burning more calories! I decided to start Insanity in November for a reason; I wanted to be doing the hardest part of the workout in December just because I knew I’d be indulging a little! Make your workouts more of a priority this month, not only will this help you to keep the weight off but it’ll also lower your stress levels and raise your energy levels to get through this crazy busy month!
All-in-all, just remember that this is a special time of year and I won’t tell you that food has nothing to do with it because we all know I’d be full of it if I did – the food is just as part of this holiday as the people and traditions involved. Just make a plan, play it smart and get your sweat on as much as possible and you’ll be heading into the new year feeling much better about yourself than you did last year!