Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Indulgence

Can you believe that the holidays are upon us? I personally can't.  It seems like just last week I was kayaking in Casco Bay and running the Back Cove Weekly 5K and running up Mt. Cocorua with Lucy on my 29th birthday. But now it's almost December! And with December comes the holidays. And with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year comes overeating, stress, and inevitable weight gain. Inevitable weight gain? Bah humbug, I say!

The vast majority of us Americans over-consume when it comes to the holidays. I mean, how can we not? There are plates of delicious cookies, pies, chocolates, buckeyes (my personal favorite), fudge, and so on. It's the American way to over consume. It's also the American way to complain about it afterwards. Well guess don't have to fall victim to "inevitable weight gain." Here are a few tips to keep in mind before, during, and after you party.

1. Plan ahead. The party you are headed to obviously is going to have food. What are the chances the host is going to have a nice fruit and vegetable spread? Not likely. So snack ahead of time. Eat a high-protein or high-fiber snack. Either will keep you feeling satiated longer.

2. Don't go to a party hungry. The more hungry you are the more you will most likely eat. Instead, focus on snacking throughout the day. This will keep your blood-sugar level up, your mood good, and your daily calorie intake in check.

3. Drink water, and a lot of it. For every drink you have, drink a glass of water. Every beer you consume contains roughly 60-200 calories. Soda and juice can be full of sugar and calories. These calories are pure carbohydrates, which are perfect if you are looking to add some unnecessary weight this season. By drinking water you help your system flush the alcohol and help keep you sober, where you are less likely to make bad decisions--eating or otherwise.

4. If you happen to overeat at one meal, go light on the next meal. Balance and moderation is key. Having one extra piece of pie one time won't make you gain weight. If you are a repeat offender, then you'll fall victim to "inevitable weight gain."

5. Try to keep your plate colorful. Brownies, cookies, and pies tend to be more bland in color. Challenge yourself to get as many fruits and veggies on your plate as you can. Fruits and veggies come in a variety of colors so be creative!

Follow these steps and you'll have a much happier holiday season. Let's face it, everyone enjoys a good party and it's not a terrible thing to enjoy a treat or two that you normally wouldn't have at any other time during the year. But challenge yourself to be mindful about what you are putting in to your body. If you can accomplish this then you might just be able to turn the inevitable weight gain into weight maintenance or even surprising weight loss.

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