If you attended my Vegas Fitness Camp this past summer you were fortunate enough to meet and learn from my Food Guru Missy Costello. She's got her own blog and I lifted this great pre-holiday advice from that.
Read, Learn & Live!
AVOIDING the Holiday PAUNCH:
Tips for eating healthy this holiday season and keeping off unwanted pounds!
Yes, the holidays are here, and this is the time for over-indulgence and putting on some extra weight for a lot of us. Cookies, stuffing, cake, pie, you name it, we put it in our mouths at this festive time of year. Parties are plentiful and so are the extra pounds. This is the time when your health must take precedence over all-else. Willpower needs to kick in, but more than that is your dedication and commitment to yourself and a long, healthy life!
So, in the spirit of a joyous season, here are some great tips on keeping yourself healthy and weight-gain-free this holiday season. Is that an oxymoron??
1. Holiday Parties: If you are going to a holiday party and you know there will be plenty of sweets, eggnog and other ways you can sabotage your health, make sure to eat a healthy, complex carbohydrate meal with a lean protein beforehand. The complex carbs will give you good staying power and will work with the protein to help to stave off sugar cravings. Once at the party, if you are having a hard time resisting that dessert table, allow yourself to have one treat. I always like to live by the 80/20 rule; eat healthy 80% of the time and allow yourself to have a 20% window by which you enjoy some special treat or snack. This rule allows us to have fun, and not deprive ourselves. It allows freedom without feeling restricted.
2. BYOF (Bring your Own Food): There have been plenty of times when I have gone to a friend's house for dinner and brought my own food. Being a vegetarian and healthy eater is sometimes frowned upon by society. Most people think it's high maintenance or weird. And they sometimes take offense when you tell them you are going to eat your own food. If these people were really your friends, and really concerned about your happiness, they wouldn't be offended about your lifestyle or the fact that you need to bring your own food with you! I find that once they see my delicious dish, they most always want to try it and end up eating more of my food than their own! So, go ahead, BYOF and enjoy a healthy meal in the company of others!
3. Use Alternative Sweeteners: If you are baking some special treats for this holiday season, find ways to use alternative, lower glycemic sweeteners such as; Agave Nectar, Molasses, Brown Rice Syrup, Xylitol (a sugar alcohol made from Birch Trees) and Stevia (an all natural herb that is 300 times sweeter than sugar). All of these sweeteners will enter your blood stream less quickly than refined sugar, and won't give you that sugar crash that we are so familiar with, leaving us wanting more. It's a vicious circle. Do yourself a favor and be creative. Experiment with these natural sweeteners. They are great to sweeten tea and coffee too!!!
4. Cut back on Alcohol: Drinking alcohol is one of the biggest culprits of weight gain during the holidays. Alcohol turns to sugar once it's in our system, and sugar turns to fat!!! Do your best to have only one drink if you are at a party, and make it a weak one. Be sure to drink 2 glasses of water for every alcoholic drink you finish, so that you stay properly hydrated. If you feel awkward at a party not drinking, than order some water in a fancy glass, throw in a lemon or a lime and pretend! No one will notice the difference! Oh yea...and make sure you laugh a lot too.
Taking charge of your health during this time can definitely be a challenge, but think of how happy you will be when January 1st comes and you don't have to join an overcrowded gym with the rest of society to lose that extra weight! Stay strong, commit to your health and wellbeing, and have fun doing it!!!!
Happy Holidays from Karma Chow!