I'm touching on something we are all thinking about today, admittedly or not.. Thanksgiving is still lingering in the air for me, and it’s due to one thing—one major thing, might I add. After feasting Thursday on all the homemade treasures my mom is most famous in our family for, I, of course, couldn’t stop there due to the cupcake centerpiece awaiting me on my arrival home, an in-state rivalry SEC tailgate to attend on Saturday, and festive cocktails had by all, oh, every evening we spent together. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been on the fast track to undoing the damage I did during Thanksgiving last week in a fast and furious way this week before yet another food-centered holiday dawns at the end of this last month.
Not one to ever not divulge in every festive aspect of the holiday season, I’m not exactly a say no kind of girl. And the stint between Thanksgiving and New Years provides so many opportunities for decadent treats and tasty cocktails that it can add up quite quickly if I don’t keep my eye on it. So, throughout the past few years, I’ve developed some tactics to fight the Holiday Heavys (as I like to refer to this eating period as). I thought I’d share these with you today, as office talk has centered these this week and hey, if they’re talking about it at the water cooler...
- Stick to veggies, fruits and lean proteins. I live off these during the week. Stir-frys are my best friend. And I try to eat lots of fish—tuna, salmon, grouper—which has lots of other healthy things going for your skin, as well.
- Incorporate a few whole grains into your menu, but try to keep dinner carb-free. Carbs are harder to digest, so give your body much more time to get rid of these—unless, of course, you’re a hard core runner. Which I clearly am not.
- Water is your best friend. Seriously, challenge yourself to drink a glass of water with every meal, between every meal, and right before you go to bed. This will also give your winter skin (read: no tan) a glow. No one likes pasty.
- Stock up on apples. Whenever I’m feeling hungry around the 3-4 pm hour (and it never fails), I eat an apple. This feels you right up for virtually no calories.
- Take a break on the weekend. I always break on Saturdays for a “free day” to enjoy some wine, chocolate, and whatever else tickles my fancy.
- Have a safety food. Everyone has that one thing they carve, and after a stressful day, it’s easy to turn to these to feel better. Find a safe food that satisfies your cravings but isn’t as bad as the original thing. Crave potoato chips? Try the Special K chips for a third of the calories. An ice cream girl? Keep Skinny Cow ice cream treats in your freezer. While you shouldn’t be turning to these every day, they’ll ward off undoing your weekly progress in a major way.
Of course, you can’t undo major foodie damage with diet alone. Or, you probably can but you shouldn’t. I am a major supporter of getting your boot-ay moving.
- As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a Pure Barre girl. So when I’m on diet detox, I try to up my weekly three classes a week to four. Can’t get to a Pure Barre near you? Try an at-home workout like the one here for long, lean dancer's muscles.
- Walk for at least 30 minutes every morning, in addition to your normal workout routine. By walking first thing when you wake up, if even for just 30 minutes, every single morning, your metabolism not only revs immediately, but you burn additional calories in addition to whatever your workout regime may be. Not a morning person (hello, raise my hand). Great tips for becoming a morning exerciser here.
- Cardio, cardio, cardio. While you should be strength-training in some form or fashion (muscle mass burns calories way faster than fat, even when sitting still), cardio is the fastest way to blast away fat. Tear up that elliptical for an hour. Do some walk-run interval training. Take a kickboxing or zumba class. Whatever it is, do it for an hour at least 3-4 times a week and you’ll melt away your extra cushion in the blink of an eye.
- Fit it in whenever you can. This workout here is fast and has major results for both blasting calories and toning you back up—you can do it before each shower and it takes less than five minutes!
A few more tips, all courtesy of my "Healthy Me" Pinterest finds.
- Skinny drinking tips here—great for holiday parties!
- Eat Yourself Skinny—my fave healthy recipe blog
- 25 natural appetite suppressants here—for when you just can't get full (assuming this happens to people other than me)
- A super-calorie blast playlist for all you runners out there here.