Friday, November 30, 2007

The Holiday weight... and not the weight on your shoulders...

We're there again, the Holiday Season, and while we may all celebrate our own religions, our own holidays, our own ways, One thing is for sure, just about ALL of those ways include festivities, eating and spirits.

We know this because despite our best intentions, we've all done it. We eat and drink too much and gain too much weight over the holidays. Then we wake up on January 1st and bemoan all the weight we now have to lose. I know it happened to me last year and I can't say as if I lost it yet??? Did you know that weight watchers claims that the average american gains 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year???

It doesn't have to be that way but with all the temptations it can get tough. From the holiday cookies around every corner, to the cakes to the chocolates. Not to mention the overflowing hors d’oeuvres tables at holiday parties and family dinners full of all sorts of tasty treats. And while the rest of the year we may be able to control our fitness and weight, our discipline typically falls apart in the holiday time.

So we can all make plans now to hold back the urges and fitness / weight changes and here's how.

CHOOSE WELL. You don't have to eat everything at the table. Choose the ones you like the best and pass on the rest. If you like the stuffing more than the potatoes or pumpkin bread, pass on the potatoes and bread. And if you simply must have everything on the table, take smaller portions and eat a bit slower. Or if you're at a buffett, scope out all the options before grabbing a plate so that you don't fill your plate up and then see something you really want!
And if a table full of hors d’oeuvres calls your name at a family / work party, choose the low calorie options like shrimp or veggies, grab one or two and then move away from the plate so you're not tempted to eat more.

Exercise. Make time to maintain your normal exercise routine. Set some realistic goals and stick with them. This will not only help you maintain your weight but will also help reduce the stress that accompanies the holidays. It will get those endorphins going so you can really enjoy the festivities. This is a gift you can give to yourself. Don’t let it get lost in the shuffle.

Eat regularly. Don’t starve yourself before attending a big party or dinner. If you do, you’ll want to eat and drink everything in sight once you get there. Instead, eat small healthy meals throughout the day. Foods high in protein (such as fish, meat and dairy products) and fiber (such as fruits and vegetables) take longer to digest so they keep you feeling full longer. Try eating something healthy like low-fat yogurt or popcorn before you leave for the party. If you do overindulge, forgive yourself quickly and resume your healthy diet the next day.

Drink moderately. This is important. After even one glass of wine or beer, many of our good intentions fly out the window so we tend to eat and drink more. Try adding ice to your glass of white wine. It not only dilutes the calories, it also keeps the wine nicely chilled. Or add seltzer to your red wine to create a festive spritzer. If you don’t want to spoil the taste of a really good vintage by diluting it, savor that one then switch to seltzer or a diet soda.

Be assertive. You don’t have to say yes to everything that everyone offers you. An increasing number of us are becoming aware of the importance of staying fit. If you’re already full or if something just looks like it has more calories than you can handle, tell your host or hostess that it looks wonderful, but you’re going to pass on it.It will take some effort to stay fit and trim over the holidays, but aren’t you worth it?
Dwell In The Possibility...

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