Staying Fit During the Holidays
It’s that time of year again! Chances are you’ll be spending a portion of your time this month visiting family to celebrate the season of giving. It’s also a time where food & leisure take center stage so it’s no wonder many of us wind up packing on 10 pounds or more over the holiday season. Want to avoid pulling out your “fat” pants before the New Year arrives? Here are 6 ways to ward off holiday weight gain.
- Skip the drive-thru on the way to your holiday destination. Or if you’re traveling by plane or train, just say no to the pre-packaged sugar laden snack packs. Instead, make sure to pack a variety of healthy snacks for the road (i.e. nuts, low sugar energy bars, fresh fruits). For longer trips, pack light sandwiches (i.e. flatbread wraps with tomato & lettuce). Make sure to have a cooler packed with water!
- Stay active. It is possible to get your exercise in while away from home or your local gym! Plan family activities that are fun while away like skating, sledding or even a round of flag football. Take walks and explore the area. If you’re a member of a large national chain of gyms, check to see if there is one in the area you’re traveling and if you’re able to use it as part of your membership. If not, you could contact gyms in the area you’re headed and ask whether you could get a short trial membership to use while you’re there. A trip to the gym might be a welcome reprieve from the hustle & bustle of the holidays.
- Offer to bring or make a dish to holiday parties. Have a favorite holiday dish that’s not exactly healthy? Try to find a healthier recipe for the dish and offer to bring it to the party. I’ve found really wonderful options for my favorite comfort foods by simply using Google and typing in the word “healthy” before the comfort food. By bringing your own dish, you’ll have a go-to option if you’re confronted by a buffet of naughty choices.
- BYOB&B. Holiday get-togethers often mean drinks. Skip the caloric cocktails and gut-busting beers and bring your own six-pack of ultra-light beers and/or a bottle of Skinnygirl Cocktails. You could wind up drinking far more calories than you consumed in your entire holiday meal. By the same token, holiday breakfasts are either often skipped altogether or consist of a box of Dunkin Donuts. Either option is bad! When you plan on being away from home at breakfast, have either a meal replacement shake on hand for a quick, healthy morning option, some plain oatmeal & berries, greek yogurt or eggs & veggies for a quick veggie omelet.
- Opt for a kid sized plate at big family meals. Fill it with lean meats, fruits, veggies. This will help you keep portion sizes in check. A full plate sends the signal that you’re eating a full meal and a partially full plate looks like a skimpy meal, regardless of the actual quantity of food. Using smaller plates and filling them up is a proven way to eat less without noticing.
- Put the focus on FAMILY not FOOD. Find yourself constantly obsessing over what’s on the table? Take a deep breath and look around at the faces around you. Start a conversation, reconnect with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while and just enjoy the time you have together. Reminisce, laugh and create new holiday memories.
Petrina Hamm is a former corporate attorney who traded in her sensible shoes & business suits for sneakers & athletic gear after losing 100 pounds. She’s a certified Personal Trainer and Independent Team Beachbody Coach with a passion for helping others write their own success stories. When she’s not working hard to get others in the best shape of their lives, she’s adrift in a sea of never ending laundry & dishes. Her husband, Jon, and their 4 kids keep her either on her toes, in her minivan or in some cases depending on RDU traffic, both.