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How to survive the holidays

So, we’re already in December which means that you’ve been hearing holiday music in the mall centers since November 1st. Maybe you’re sick of it already or you’re a Christmas/holiday junky… Whichever one you might be, we all know that with all the parties and family reunions coming, weight gain is almost inevitable (ALMOST). Don’t starve yourself just yet because there are ways to minimize the probable weight gain or even get through it without gaining anything but a few gifts.

…Or not. It’s up to you!

 

Keep a routine going

The best way not to gain too much weight or to lose it easily once the holiday season is over is to stick to your fitness routine. Whatever form of exercise that you are doing right now, just don’t stop completely. It doesn’t take a ton of exercise, as long as you are consistent with it. You know what that means? Don’t be one of those “new-year resolution” people. If you haven’t been steady with exercise, it’s not too late.

Pin point which day you’re REALLY going to workout.

Start with 2-3 times a week and be consistent. This way, once the food-binging season is over, you should be able to go right back to your pre-holiday weight.

 

Take your time

Don’t eat too fast and take the time to really taste your food. It’ll give your body enough time to produce the necessary hormones to let you know that you’ve had enough instead of overeating. You know what else? Every time I get up for an extra serving, it’s usually because it tastes so good. Having discussions around the diner table is a great way to slow down the pace at which you’re going to chow down that food.

Take time to talk to those people next to you… even to the annoying ones.

Now, if you take more time to eat, you should be able to enjoy the taste of that delicious food for an even longer period of time. Crazy, right?

 

Pre-fill yourself

Before all that calorie-packed food is served, there’s usually some type of appetizers laying around. I’m sure most of you are going straight for those pigs in a blanket or any other finger food available.

Pigs in a blanket…I can already hear them call my name.

Don’t go too fast. Most of the time, there should be healthier choices available like raw vegetables and dip or some other nutrient-rich food right next to it. I know the choice might be hard but think of it this way: when it’s time to eat the main course, your stomach won’t be empty and you should be able to feel full much quicker than before.
Another smart option is to consume more proteins than carbs and fat. Especially a leaner cut of meat like turkey.

 

Pick the right drink

I doubt that any of you would be excited at the idea of drinking only water during those Christmas parties. I wouldn’t be. Nonetheless, there are better alternatives when it comes to getting your party on during the month of December.

Pretty nice chart taken from Éduc’alcool (Quebec’s non-profit organization for moderate drinking)

Keep in mind that the equivalent of a “drink” or a portion relates to an amount of alcohol in your drink (%). As a reference, there is the same amount of alcohol in a regular beer (340ml @ 5%), a glass of wine (140ml @ 12%) and a shot of hard liquor/spirits (45ml @ 40%).

If we take a look at the picture above, we can see that a portion/drink of beer has much more calories in it than its equivalent in hard liquor. Now that’s before anyone starts mixing up that same hard liquor with sugary sodas, juice and other calorie filled liquids. In that case, drinks like Pina coladas and Margaritas can have over 500 calories in a bit more than a cup (250ml). That’s how you pack on major weight (and not the good kind).

What are the better choices then?

  • Any diet soda with hard liquor can be very low in calories. Take vodka and soda for example (Canada Dry cream soda has no calories in it).
  • Wine. The white variety has a bit less calories than red but it is still a relatively low on calorie alcoholic beverage.
  • Hard Liquor on the rocks. Some might grimace at the idea but it’s rare that people will start gulping down massive amounts in a short amount of time (except in most washed-up cop movies).

 

Don’t go crazy just yet

I hope all the stuff I just said didn’t make you think that you should starve yourself and stay home during the holidays. After all, we all deserve some time off and a treat from time to time. Just don’t wake up on the 1st of January with 10 extra pounds and no idea about how you’re going to lose it before summer time!

By the way, if you’re looking for a great way to get in shape from the comfort of your home, take a look at my amazing workout program Bouge.

Enjoy!

Jennifer Rochon
jenn@bouge.fitness
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