By Marsha Fottler –
If you’re into a weight loss/healthy living program and doing pretty well with your diet and exercise lifestyle routines, you realize you’ve got to chart a smart course through the holiday season (now through about the middle of January) that helps you sidestep social gatherings which are minefields of sweet temptation. You don’t want to give up the gains you’ve made. Stay focused and positive. To help, here are a few tips from nutrition and workout specialists for navigating the culinary cheer of the holidays. You honestly can do it.
- Dedicate yourself to smaller portions. Eat everything that looks wonderful, but less of all of it. Measure stuffing, rice dishes, potato casseroles in ½ cup portions. Three ounces is about the correct portion of meat or seafood. Enjoy what’s on your plate. Eat slowly, putting your fork down between bites. Do not go back for seconds. Have dessert, a tiny bit – one cookie, a single piece of chocolate, a sliver of pie or pass it up for flavored coffee, tea or a glass of wine.
- Drink a glass of water before siting down to table and sip water during your meal. Make your water of choice gourmet sparking and garnish with a slice of lemon or lime or a sprig of mint. Put your water in a fancy wine glass.
- If you’re the cook, give up tasting while cooking the meal. Make dishes you’ve been successful with before so you’re confident about how they will turn out. No all-day tasting.
Going to a party? Seek out nuts, olives, raw vegetables, popcorn. Skip the dip, cheese, processed foods and things wrapped in bacon. You know the drill, make smart but tasty party-food choices. The party is about people, not so much the food. Talk more than you eat.
- Carve out time for exercise. The holiday season is stressful, you’ve got so much to do and maybe you think you can eliminate your exercise routine because there aren’t enough hours in the day. No. You need exercise to reduce stress and to tone your body. Diet and exercise work in tandem. Put on comfortable shoes, open the door and walk out. Walking is something you can fit into any schedule. If it’s snowing or raining outside, walk inside of your house. Stretch, bend and walk creating a pathway through the rooms of your house. Live in a two-story house, so much the better. Work the staircase. You don’t have to do it for long periods of time, ten minutes twice a day will keep you on track. Just do it.
- Get good prolonged sleep. Seven hours of sleep a night helps promote weight loss and generally improves your looks, your mood, your energy level. Make good sleep a part of your holiday routine. It honestly will make a difference in how you enjoy the people around you, the special events and even your own company. You’re at your best when you’ve had the right rest.