christmas

Surviving A Holiday Party!

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The holidays can be a TOUGH time for those of use who try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It seems like every time you turn around its time to go to another dinner, brunch, or office party. It can be easy to overindulge at these events if you go unprepared or without a plan. As the saying goes, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Chances are, you know about these events for weeks before the time comes. That means there’s plenty of time to work around it. It IS possible to keep your weight in check while still enjoying yourself at holiday parties – the key is to do it mindfully! 

Here are 5 ways to stay on track at this year’s holiday office party: 

  1. Eat before you go. If your event is in the evening, eat a healthy, filling, early dinner. Eating before you go ensures that you have full control over what you’re eating – you’re not limited to the (most likely) unhealthy choices at the party. Not only that, but you’ll eliminate the risk of binge eating that usually comes along with these events when you go with an empty stomach. You can certainly still partake in some treats – just be mindful and watch your portions! You’ll be more likely to make better choices anyway since you’ve already eaten dinner. 
  2. If you can’t eat before, or if the event is at breakfast or lunchtime, just be wary of your portions. Office parties are typically full of chips, dips, and finger foods, but they also usually have a variety of fruits and veggies as well. Try to fill up on the healthier options, like veggies and proteins. Using a smaller plate can also help you not overeat. Only eat what you can fit on the appetizer plates! If you’re still hungry after, make a trip back to the veggie tray, or stop by the ever-present bowl of nuts. 
  3. One of our biggest tools for weight loss is exercise, so make sure you don’t forget about it during the holidays! Exercise is especially important on days that you know you’ll be eating out of the norm foods like you would be eating at a holiday party. Exercising the morning of the party will help you stay on track when it comes to your food choices – who wants to spend an hour working out, only to sabotage it with a binge on finger foods? But, exercise is also good because even if you do snack on a few high calorie foods, the effect won’t be as bad because you’ve already burned some calories that morning. Try to workout first thing in the morning so you aren’t tempted to skip it later! 
  4. Another great way to keep yourself on track at your holiday office party is to bring a dish of your own. Bringing something healthy that you love (and is tasty!) is a win for everyone. You get to enjoy something that not only tastes good, but also is also good for you, AND you get brownie points for bringing a delicious dish while contributing to the health of your officemates. 
  5. Watch the booze! It’s inevitable that there will be alcohol at holiday functions, especially if they’re in the evening, and it can be easy to get carried away. If you’re going to drink, stick to the basics and avoid heavy, sugary drinks that the bar may have. Instead, stick to light beers, wine, and basic cocktails like vodka and sugar free juices, whiskey/rum and diet coke, or dry martinis. You can definitely enjoy yourself at the party – just be smart about it for the sake of your holiday outfits. Eating great and working out won’t help you at all if you down 2 or 3 egg noggs and spiked ciders after dinner! 

The holidays are a great time to have fun with coworkers and celebrate with friends and family. You don’t have to skip the parties to stay on track with your weight. Just be conscious of what you are filling your body with, have a plan, and enjoy everything in moderation. Don’t forget to check out these five tips again before your next office party!

Surviving the Holidays Without Gaining Weight!

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Holiday time is quickly approaching! Holiday time you say? Yes, that joyous time between Halloween and New Year’s (approximately 63 days) that we spend gathering and celebrating with friends and family. These celebration are filled with delicious foods, seasonal treats and lots of libations which can result in extra pounds on the dreaded scale!

These extra pounds can seem insignificant but in the long run they add up quickly!

Research show that the average person puts on a few pounds over this holiday period but does not quite take them all off in the New Year. This leads to 2-3 pound weight gain each year. 2-3 pounds a year seems small but if this pattern is repeated each year then 10 years later you are up 30 pounds and that is not insignificant!

So the questions is, how do you still enjoy the fun and spirit of the holidays without sacrificing your waist line? You have a PLAN! That’s how and you start now, before Thanksgiving!

Having a plan in place will:

1) Make you prepared!
2) Give you guidelines to follow.

3) Balance the good with the bad.

4) PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN!

SO, what’s the plan? Here is my 5 step plan to staying on track during the holidays!

1) Start Now!

Make an effort to dial in your nutrition and increase your activity now, way before the holidays! Focus on whole food nutrition as much as possible. Load up on lean protein and tons of veggies at most meals adding the occasional rice, quinoa, potatoes, fruit and legumes.

2) Focus on Carbohydrate Control!

You don’t have to eat a super low carb diet BUT being conscience of your carb intake is most important for weight maintenance. Carbohydrates increase blood glucose, which stimulates the release of insulin which promotes the storage of fat. If we can keep our blood glucose low then the body is less likely to store fat!

Carbohydrates also create that viscous cycle of hunger and fatigue! The more we eat them, the more we crave them! So limit sweets and treats to special events for sure! So really dial in on carb control on non-social event days! This will allow for more wiggle room at that family meal or holiday party.

3) Drink lots and lots of WATER!

Hydration is so important for weight control. Proper hydration helps reduce hunger and cravings, keeps your bowels moving properly and improves your sleep! When we neglect to get enough water in, everything suffers! Hunger increases, cravings increase, we get constipated and feel bloated, we become fatigued and sluggish! This can all lead to the want to nibble and grazing and make poor food choices. So aim for at least 64 oz of good ole plain water every day!

4) Be active!

Try to not miss out on your regular exercise. Make it a priority to get your workouts in. You will feel better if you stay active! Exercise will definitely offset the savory meals and holiday treats!

5) PLAN! AGAIN!

Prior to any social event or holiday meal, come up with a plan. Think ahead what might be served and what you could stick with

to stay on track. Offer to bring a healthy dish so you know there will be at least one option to eat. Drink lots of water during the day to keep yourself well hydrated and eat a small high protein snack prior to the event so you are not starving! Try not to eat as soon as you arrive at the event, take a look at your options and wait. Once you start eating it can be hard to stop. Keep tabs on alcohol as those calories can add up quickly. Alternate alcohol with sparkling water throughout the night. Don’t linger around the food and most important, enjoy yourself!

Having a plan to tackle this holiday season will ensure weight maintenance. It will allow you manage your weight over the holidays, putting you in great position to jump back in at 100% in January to continue to work towards your long term health and wellness goals! 

Looking for some holiday recipes to keep you on track that the whole family will enjoy?  Download my free holiday guide below!