Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Tis the Season to be Healthy!

Just when you’ve come out of the Halloween sugar high and Thanksgiving food coma, the holiday parties and treats hit hard and threaten to undo a whole year of hard work on your health. But just because people are bringing endless baked goods to the office and there are holiday parties every week with fantastic food and drink, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to have Santa’s belly by 2011. Just follow a few simple tricks and trades and you’ll be cheering to your health and pre-holiday body!

Don't go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you won't overeat at parties or in the break room is to not let yourself get hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go...100-150 calories should do it. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, veggies and hummus, string cheese, a handful of nuts or a protein shake should do the trick.

Take a step back. You see all the food on the table and you want to make a beeline for the buffet. Go for it, but once you've gone through the line once, plant yourself on a far away and out of arms reach of the gingerbread cookies and peppermint martinis and, better yet, keep your back to the food and drink. With this little trick, you are less likely to absent-mindedly snack.

Work it out. So the holidays can cause stress, right? Lots of shopping, spending, parties and work. Who has time for exercise? YOU DO! Exercise reduces stress so make sure you put your workouts on the calendar and stick to it like you would an important meeting.

Exercise portion control. Where does it say that just because you can eat a truckload of food, you should? Get one plate of food and make sure that at least half is filled up with veggies, fruits and lean protein, the other half can be your favorite holiday food picks…”favorite” being the key word here. Don't waste precious calories on food that you don't really love. Pick out your favorites and savor them slowly.

Drink Dilemma. If you decide to have a drink or two while celebrating, make sure your drinks are around 100 calories or less. Wine spritzers, 1 oz liquor with a calorie-free mixer, a glass of champagne and light beer all have around 100 calories. And of course, drink two glasses of water to every alcoholic beverage to keep you from over-drinking as well as staying hydrated.

Skip the food or drink hangover. Schedule a sweat session for the morning after a party with a trainer or friend…knowing that you will be going to be working hard the next morning will make you think about how much you’re drinking AND eating that evening, plus, you'll burn calories from your “favorite” treats and zap fatigue and winter blues all at once.

Happy, healthy holidays!

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