Excuse the pun. It’s only a few more sleeps until Christmas and this is usually the time when we all decide to let ourselves go. But is it really okay to skip a training session and not eat healthy?
Well, let me tell you what you don’t want to hear.
No, it’s not okay and you’ll have to work twice as hard to get rid of the fat you gained over the Christmas break. Though, fear not I have some simple tips to help you during this time. Just know there are two goals to aim for:
1. To at least not gain weight or
2. To lose fat over the holidays
As most people will opt for the first goal, then I suggest sticking to that one for now, but if you’re brave go for the second goal. During this time there are two categories that you’ll be part of, either visiting or at home.
Every year you will find yourself either being the visitor or the host. This is what to do if you visit.
Bring your food with you.
My mother always said “bring a gift.” No, I am not talking about being preachy and handing over the low carb/low fat/ dry organic free range stuffing. I said bring a gift! There are some foods that on their own are healthy and taste quite good. Bring safe items with you that you can fill up on so that you won’t have as much room for the bad and that also goes nicely with the spread. If you can’t cook or don’t care too then these ideas work for that as well.
• Veggie or Fruit Plates-Fill up on fruit and veg, lower calories.
• Hummus for dipping-Most is only 30-50 calories a serving. Goes great with those veggies too.
• Tea Biscuits and Coffee (you can find these in most grocery store in the specialty section. 2 yummy biscuits for 32 calories!)
Don’t be a boring lump.
The majority of visitors sit like a lump waiting for instructions on how to best stuff their face. CHANGE IT UP! Since you don’t have to prepare the food do a favor by helping entertain. Spend time with your family, it is why you are there.
Have another plate.
I know right, I am nuts! Here are the rules though, the first plate I want to be all the good stuff, (lean meat, veggies, fruit,) basically low calories. Next grab another plate, but this time load up on the items you have been salivating over since you have arrived. The catch is because you already filled up on the good stuff you will be more moderate with the bad. This will limit the actual amount of the bad you can take in and save you some calories right there alone, PLUS you don’t look the “dieter.” Dieters don’t have another plate.
Help clean up.
Not only does it help out the stressed out mum/dad, you burn a few extra calories. Remember the majority of your daily calories are burned in small activities, not large training.
Look you have the home field advantage; you get to do the cooking!! That doesn’t mean to serve tasteless guck either, just make smart choices. Get a bigger turkey and serve the white meat only. Where you find the space try and substitute some items with lower calories. For example, you can use skim milk and light butter in your potatoes. This makes very little difference in taste but saves loads on calories.
Pick Your Battles.
Look you can’t make a low calorie pecan pie, it is what it is. You can however make a healthy and low calorie pumpkin pie or better yet, a pumpkin cheesecake that is to die for.
If you have to go to town on the calories then at least make them more nutritious calories. For example, instead of a “canned cranberry sauce” you could whip up cranberry nut bread.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the cranberries and walnuts, and stir to coat with flour. Mix together the egg, oil, orange juice, and orange zest. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, and stir until just blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack, and cool completely.
Nutrition Facts Calories 163 Fat 3g Carbohydrate 31g Protein 3g
Want deviled eggs? Great but stuff them with something different like some roasted garlic hummus and turkey meat. Have all the flavor you want, just choose good things to make your flavour form. Remember healthy items are apart of some of the best tasting foods.
Don’t just make the visit to your house all about the food, be a good example. Have sack races for the kids, or spoon races. Play sports, or pull out the WII and play a round of tennis. I assure you the less awkward the visit, the more fun that is being had just hanging out, the less food becomes the star! Don’t let the TV rule the house.
Cook for only those you need to.
Don’t get carried away. This isn’t the last meal and this isn’t the send off to fight the British War. You don’t need 2 turkeys, 1 chicken, 3 pies, and 10 sides. Less is more. Pick solid dishes and let their flavors be the star. This will also lower the stress and you will be less likely to eat more because of being upset.
Lastly, stick to your training sessions if your team still runs them over the Christmas break, otherwise just get out and go for a light jog or hit the gym.
Good luck this holiday! No matter what the goal is remember that this is a time to celebrate love and give thanks no matter who and how many you are with.