Midland Fitness column: How to survive holiday eating
As crazy as it sounds, you don’t have to gain five pounds this holiday season. Being mindful of what you’re eating while continuing to exercise will keep you from ruining your weight-loss efforts.
The holidays are a wonderful time of year — you get a few days off to spend time with your family and friends to celebrate. What’s not to love? Well, I for one am not a fan of the holiday-party circuit with all of that fatty food at every turn — and don’t get me started on those holiday cocktails. Throwing caution to the wind and indulging in every craving will only make facing reality on New Year’s Day a lot harder. But I’m here to tell you that you can enjoy the festivities and indulge a bit without getting out of control. Here are a few tips to live by this holiday season.
1. Plan for the day:
If you know are attending a holiday party or dinner it’s probably not a great idea to eat a huge stack of pancakes for breakfast. Save the heavy eating for the evening. Stick to whole foods and protein during the day.
2. Hors d’oeuvres……Choose wisely:
When appetizers are being passed around, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re eating. You can eat an entire meals worth of calories before you even sit down for your actual meal. One strategy is to eat small appetizers like veggies (ones which aren’t drowned in dressing or sauces) and other low-calorie crunchers. Also try to choose only lean protein and low-fat items.
3. Portion sizes:
Grab a smaller plate. You should be able to eat a little of everything you want to have, but really how often do we just grab a little of mom’s delicious mashed potatoes. It’s very easy to overdo it when everything looks so good. Slow down, it’s not a race to finish your plate first. Your body needs time to realize it is full. Keep drinking water, this will help keep you from overstuffing your belly. Remember dessert is still to come. Save some room.
4. Limit alcoholic drinks:
Alcohol is a double whammy. Not only do drinks contain calories, they also make it more likely that you won’t stay disciplined. After a drink or two, those big handfuls of nuts don’t seem too indulgent. If you have a glass of wine, remember five ounces is considered a serving. With mixed drinks, try using club soda or low-calorie mixers. Skip the wine coolers and hard lemonades. They’re loaded with extra sugar and calories. A low-calorie beer is another option. Try to limit yourself to one drink an hour. Have an ice tea or a sparkling water with lime between drinks.
5. Dessert: How do you pick just one?
I know it’s hard because they all look so good, but choose one dessert and keep your portion size small. There are always leftovers that you can wrap up for the next day.
We’re all human, and we should indulge a little over the holidays. Just remember that if you overdo it, it’s OK. Just forget about it and get back on track the next day.
Britt Glock is a performance nutrition specialist at Midland Fitness.