10 Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

coaching fitness habits nutrition Nov 23, 2015

Did you know there are only 28 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year? By adding only 300 calories a day, you will consume an additional 8400 calories and gain at least 2.5 pounds... in the next 4 weeks!

A bagel, muffin, cookie, ice cream, or egg nog are the more obvious culprits adding to our calorie intake. But how about a Gingerbread Latte, Frappucino, Mocha, Hot Chocolate, Gin & Tonic, or Martini ? That daily coffee stop, or night out, adds up fast.

With a few simple tricks, however, you can avoid the landslide that starts now and ends in yet another New Year’s resolution to eat less and exercise more.

Here are my Top 10 Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season:

  1. Eat Before You Party: Choose a small 100-200 calorie snack before you leave the house so you don’t arrive starving. Focus on protein. Choose a handful of nuts, 2 oz of cheese, yogurt or even a protein shake to increase your satiety.
  2. Stop Tasting While You’re Baking: Those little nibbles of cookie dough and cake batter can add up... often to a whopping 300 calories!
  3. Limit Alcohol: Besides the calories and sugar in that glass, your inhibitions are also lowered and you are much more likely to overindulge as a result. Alternate a drink with a glass of water to slow down your intake.
  4. Don’t Slash the Tires: Eat too much at a party? Grab one too many cookies in the office? Just because you had a bad meal… or bad day… doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and give up. Wake up to a new day and recommit.
  5. Don’t Diet: Traditional wisdom says the less we eat the less we’ll weight. To the contrary, skipping meals… and especially snacks… can actually lead to weight gain when our body goes into starvation mode. Make sure you’re eating every 2.5-3 hours throughout the day.
  6. Socialize: Out and about with friends and family? Talk! Ask questions. Stay engaged. The more you chat the less time you have to eat.
  7. Outsmart the Buffet: Go for the simplest foods. A carrot is just a carrot. Shrimp is just shrimp. Keep the toothpicks for the appetizers you’ve eaten in your pocket to keep track of how many you’ve eaten.
  8. Forget the Perfectionism: Follow the 80/20 Rule. Choose, in advance, where you are going to “spend” your calories and then stick to your plan. There are 28 meals in a week. Pick your “worth it” foods wisely.
  9. Track It: Keeping a food diary is the very best way to keep the pounds off. Try myFitnessPal or LiveStrong’s Daily Plate.
  10. Swap It: Do a little research and know what the better choices are. For example:
    • 1 cup eggnog = 305 calories/19 g fat vs. 1 cup cider = 140 cal/0 g fat
    • 3 oz peanut brittle = 414 cal/16 g fat vs. 1 candy cane = 60 cal/0 fat

By all means, enjoy your Thanksgiving! It’s part of the 20% that’s real life nutrition.

But choose wisely. Know how the little things add up and be educated about how to stop the landslide before it starts. Pick ONE tip this season and practice it over and over.

Have a happy, and healthy, Holiday Season!

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