For those who try to eat healthily, the holidays are a tricky time. It starts with the Halloween candy, continues with Thanksgiving festivities (pumpkin cookies.... mmmm), and then of course the whole month of December comes with treats, special meals and celebrations galore.
I had actually been doing pretty well until last weekend, when we went to a super great restaurant (Tucano's) for Husband's work party, and then my office exploded with candy and goodies every where. Dove dark chocolate in the conference room! Mint Hershey kisses at the front desk! They know my weaknesses.
Unfortunately, the holidays are associated with treats and overeating. I'm certainly not one to condemn any and all splurging, but let's not try to get too crazy. How do you still enjoy the holiday treats without going overboard? How do you prevent entering the new year 5 lbs more than the previous?
1. Plan ahead. Before going into a party or place where you know you may overeat, decide what your plan of attack will be and tell someone about it. That way you can stay more accountable. My coworker and I were going into a conference room to practice a presentation. Before heading in, we agreed neither of us would have any of the chocolate on the table. And it was fine! No one died. With that said, ...
2. Don't make ridiculous rules about what you won't eat. (ie: "I will not have any of the cookies at the office holiday party" or "I will refuse any hot chocolate that is offered to me".) Sure, you can try the array of cookies, but maybe choose 3 that look especially good to you or split with a friend. If hot chocolate is something that is really tempting to you, go for the hot chocolate but pass on the brownies that go with it. It's all about portion control.
3. Keep exercising. I know it's not as much fun to be working out if you're stuck inside due to weather, but you can't expect to lose or maintain weight if you ditch the workout all together. Try some new things, such as swimming laps, focusing on weight training, or that one cardio machine you always make excuses not to do (stair stepper, anyone?). The other day I did intervals on the treadmill- 4 minutes walking on a steep incline, 4 minutes running at a 8:00 minute pace. Try some new classes! I, of course, highly recommend spinning. And just because it's cold doesn't mean you can't go outside. With proper layering techniques, running or cycling outside can be perfectly enjoyable. If you know you're going to be eating more, go for a nightly walk to curb the calories.
4. Know your weaknesses, and work around them. For example, maybe you should avoid baking. It's one thing to make baked goods for your kid's class party, but do you seriously want to endanger yourself by having 2 dozen cookies around the house? "But I have to bring something to the church party!" So, bring a fruit platter instead!
I'm certainly not the shining example for all of these things, but so far I have been successful at maintaining my weight this season (so far being the key words). Any other pointers you'd like to share?