The holidays are rapidly approaching… and you know what THAT means! It’s time to fight the battle of the bulge.
Every year, I go into the holidays promising myself that I will not give in to the temptation to pack on the pounds. Some years I do better than others, but here is what I’ve learned.
How to Stay in Shape Through the Holidays
1. Don’t let busyness be an excuse for skipping meals.
Because you know what happens when you skip meals, right? Yes! You snack. And generally you snack on crap. And when you snack on crap, you don’t feel like you ate a full meal. And your brain doesn’t send signals to your tummy that you ate a full meal. So you tend to eat way more calories than you would if you just sat down and had a simple, sensible meal.
Which brings me to #2…
2. Keep mealtimes simple.
Don’t expect too much of yourself during this busy time of year. Plan simple meals that everyone likes that are easy to pull together in a jiffy. Then you can be guaranteed to have good choices on hand when you need to grab something quickly.
3. Make time for exercise.
It is this time of year when I always seem to fall off the exercise bandwagon. I’m just too busy to fit it in! But the years that I’ve made the effort and fit it in have been the years when I don’t put on weight over the holidays. It’s not that exercise in and of itself burns that many calories, but it is more about your state of mind when you are exercising regularly. You feel healthier so you’re less likely to indulge.
4. Put SOCIAL back in “social occasion”.
We all know that the holidays are chock full of social occasions where there are lots of tempting culinary delights to taste, but don’t make the food the focus of the holidays. Spend your social occasions catching up with friends and family that you may not have seen all year, and leave the buffet table for the kids.
5. Taste, don’t eat.
Okay, so don’t ignore the buffet table entirely. But consider it a taste testing, not a free-for-all. If you MUST try that cake by Great Aunt Bertha, then take a sliver and enjoy it. But don’t feel like you have to make a meal out of it.
The holidays can be a great time for catching up with old friends, spending time with family members you may not see very often, and showing love and gratitude to our loved ones. But you don’t have to be a casualty.
How about you? What are your best tips for staying in shape through the holidays??