This may shock you, but… no, there’s no magic pill or drink that can keep you from gaining holiday weight or make the calories disappear, despite what those selling network marketing products might tell you. But there ARE, however, a few tips you can try to help keep you in check a bit to help you maintain health over the holidays. Keep in mind every body is different – for example, my husband can eat seconds, thirds, and two pieces of pie and will probably lose weight and still look like a GQ model, while I will gain five pounds if I even look at a bite of pie. It’s just how our bodies are. You have to do what feels right for you because you know your body best!
Hear me loud and clear when I say these are helpful tips for maintaining BALANCE – not tips to be boring! You have to indulge SOME or you’ll go crazy. #TreatYoSelf am I right?
- DON’T starve yourself leading up to the big holiday meal. Not only is this unhealthy for your metabolism, but it will automatically cause you to eat more when you do sit down and eat, and you’ll end up twice as uncomfortable as you normally would! I used to do this EVERY time I knew a big meal was in my foreseeable future, and it’s SO bad for you. It’s okay to eat a lighter breakfast than normal in anticipation, but at least eat SOMETHING. I feel so much better when I’ve had at least a small breakfast so that my body stays on its normal track.
- MAKE sure to get enough protein. Men, this probably isn’t as much of an issue for you, but if you’re like me, meat is often not top priority. I’ve decided lately I’m an accidental vegetarian, because I forget to eat meat or if I do eat it, it’s not very appealing to me. Try to include either meat or protein-rich sides so that your meal is somewhat balanced and you don’t over load on carbs! Because let’s face it, you’ve got lots of potatoes, rolls, and pies to eat. It’ll also help fill you up and likely is leaner than perhaps the third roll you’d eat if you hadn’t filled up with some meat on your plate. Get that protein in!
- LISTEN to your hunger cues! Are you too full for that second serving of sweet potato casserole, or are you actually still a little hungry? I’m definitely not saying seconds are bad, because y’all know I’m weak AF when it comes to my mom’s sweet potato casserole. Hm I think I just drooled a little just thinking about it. Anyways, just pay attention to how full you get, and if you get full before you try everything you wanted to eat, wait a couple hours and have a snack. Or go for an afternoon walk and get your heart rate up a little, then go back for some more. Chances are, if you wait a bit then reassess, you’ll realize your eyes might have been bigger than your stomach!
- SKIP the calorie-dense drinks. Please believe me when I say, I love indulging in wine and beer and all the sugary holiday cocktails. I thoroughly enjoy having a glass, or two, of wine with my in-laws over dinner. BUT these drinks can be sneaky culprits when you have more than one or two over the course of a holiday. And let’s be real, we all feel like drinking a little extra on the holidays when we’re with the people we may not get to celebrate with often. You just have to be careful because before you know it you’ll have consumed 1-2,000 calories in drinks alone in just a couple hours, not even counting the pie!! Maybe that’s a sacrifice you’re willing to make, but if it’s up to me, I will save those calories for dessert thank you! If you need a low-cal cocktail, check out the recipe at the bottom of this post! You CAN have your cake (alcohol) and eat (drink) it too.
ENJOY the food and experiences with family/friends you have while eating it! This is definitely the most important. Don’t let the fear of food/calories ruin your day. Don’t go eat yourself into a diabetic coma either, but please please enjoy the yummy foods and drinks! These are merely tips to help keep you in BALANCE over the holidays, NOT to make you feel pressure or like you must restrict. It’s all about balance 🙂
Happy holidays, babes!!!
Cran-Raspberry Vodka Spritzer
There’s no way around calories when it comes to alcohol, because it is naturally calorie dense coming in at 9 kcal/gram, but there are plenty of ways to lighten up the other parts of your drink IF you’re not just having beer or wine! This one is super light and refreshing, and really easy to make! (Even hubby likes it! I used mint from our garden :))
1 shot of vodka (or more if you’re feelin’ fresh)
1 can Cran-Raspberry La Croix sparkling water (ZERO calories holla!)
juice of half a lime
a few mint leaves + a sprig of mint for garnish
Serve over ice and enjoy!