Yes. I know what you're thinking. If this post is about not drinking alcohol and avoiding dessert and skipping holiday meals then this isn't going to work for you. GOOD NEWS! I don't recommend any of that because that's not reasonable or desirable for most. Instead, I want to recommend a way to still enjoy all the treats and traditions of the season, while hopefully keeping "lose holiday weight" out of your 2021 New Years resolutions.
Practical Tip #1:
Pre-load holiday meals with healthy foods
Did I just recommend that you eat MORE? Yes, yes I did. Research shows that starting your meal with a light 100 calorie healthy food will actually keep you from consuming more of the more calorie dense items throughout your meal. A few examples include: a small salad, a small soup, or a piece of fruit. On your way out the door to mom's house? Grab an apple and eat it in the car before you arrive. Tip done!
Practical Tip #2:
Sweat to feel better
Break a sweat when you start feeling run down from the heavy foods. It will not only stimulate fat burning but also get the (likely) high amount of sugar floating around in your blood to go straight to the muscles you're using for energy. Just 15 minutes of a rigorous workout will be enough to feel the effects so either find a 15 minute YouTube HIIT workout, step out for a run/walk, or just do a series of burpees and jumping jacks. Pro tip: involve the kids in the family. Nothing will be funnier than trying to watch kids under age 10 trying to do burpees. Trust me on this one. Plus, we all know exercise releases endorphins which will also keep away those winter blues.
Practical Tip #3:
Treat alcohol like a starch
Alcohol is basically a carbohydrate. A high calorie per pound carbohydrate. It's also a processed carbohydrate (wine grapes would be the unprocessed version). So if you want to modify your plate to balance out the alcohol, treat it like a high calorie carbohydrate. Example:
1 glass of wine = 1 cup rice (to remove)
1 martini = 1 cup mashed potatoes (to remove)
Practical Tip #4:
Bring a dish of your own
This could be something as simple as a roasted butternut squash, apple, and quinoa over kale salad like this one. Or you can get fancy and bring your own dessert like this pumpkin tart with oat crust. Even mashed potatoes that are NOT mixed with cream and butter would help you out with not overconsuming processed foods that meal. Fruit is another easy offering to bring during dessert time. Fun fact= eating fruit with a processed sugar actually slows down the absorption of the sugar from the processed food because of the fiber in the fruit! So eat fruit with every dessert if you want to be clever. 😊
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