Food & Fitness Friday: Health & The Holidays

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Food & Fitness Friday: Health & The Holidays

While devouring two delectable sugar cookies with sickly-sweet icing yesterday at work, I concluded it’s nearly impossible to stay healthy and not gain weight during the holidays.

From sugar cookies to Godiva chocolates to those peanut butter cookies with the kisses baked right into the middle, to fudge, caramel rolls, candies, and more…

The holidays are a death trap for sweet-tooth lovers.

Me. Basically every day at work.

I could avoid McDonald’s even if I had a drive through window next door to my house. But if I hear that my mom is baking cookies 3,000 miles away I want her to send me them over night express. It’s an illness.

When I stepped on the scale this morning and saw I was maintaining my current weight, I realized I am sticking to a few key rules that are saving my waistline and my self-esteem.

1. Eat a healthy breakfast 

At least start the day off right, even if it’s about to all go down hill from there. An egg and whole wheat toast with peanut butter. Non-fat Greek yogurt topped with berries and fiber-rich cereal. Prosciutto with 1 tbsp whipped cream cheese on toast. An orange and oatmeal. Get your protein, your healthy fats, and grains. I personally prefer a heavy fat/protein breakfast so I can stuff my face with carbs later on in the day…

2. Keep working out

I know my calorie intake is going to be off the two weeks before and after Christmas. It’s inevitable. I also know that if I put in my time at the gym, on the slopes, or even in front of the TV with a yoga or ab workout I can counteract some of those calories. I try to keep working out at least 5-6 times a week through the holidays. Putting hours in at the gym lifting or taking your usual fitness classes might not be possible if you’re traveling or have extra engagements (Christmas parties, etc.). Find alternatives:

  • Do a HIIT workout or yoga workout from YouTube or Pinterest in your living room or hotel room
  • Drop in as a guest at a family member’s gym and just use a machine you’re familiar with even if you hate it (a TV show or a great playlist on your iPhone might help you push through)
  • Take advantage of the winter weather and hit the slopes, the ice skating rink, or the trails with hiking shoes/snow shoes
  • Walk and walk often. Park as far from the mall entrance as you can or encourage family/friends to go for a long walk around the neighborhood with you after every meal.
  • Pack everything you need to jog in the cold!
5 mile run this week. P.s. It sucked P.p.s. It was worth it

3. Share, share, share. 

This one is somewhat evil, but it works every time. If you couldn’t help yourself and made a batch of cookies – bring them to work and force your significant other to do the same. Share the unhealthy so you’re not solely gorging yourself. I even go so far as biting into a cookie and realizing I don’t need it, and hand the rest to the husband asking if he’ll kindly finish it…

At parties or get-togethers, remember there are a lot of people present so restrict yourself to only one or two of each little dessert so everyone else can get some. Telling yourself to “eat less so you share” instead of “eat less so you won’t get fat” gives you a better incentive.

You’re sharing the love! And by default the more you share, the less you eat. 

4. Track what you eat

Nothing like seeing how many calories are in a slice of Grandma’s famous apple pie to put down that fork. MyFitnessPal is a fantastic app that not only has an expansive list of food items, but has nutrition information for all the ingredients that go into the homemade goodies. Add it all up before you eat your meal to keep track of where you’ll be in calories, sugar, protein, fats, and carbs for the day once you take your last bite.

4. Be Realistic 

Some people have amazing self control. I am not one of those people. I love sweets. I love the holidays. I love eating sweets around the holidays. I’m not going to crush any fitness goals or grow a six pack over Christmas but if I can maintain until I’m on the other side of the new year, I’ll be happy.

If you, like me, know your self-control is lacking…don’t try and deny yourself sweets through the holidays. You will inevitably give in and over do it. Eat in moderation. Eat a kale salad and then a Godiva chocolate. Enjoy your salmon and steamed vegetables, and follow it with two of those hershey kiss cookies of goodness.

You probably won’t weigh less than when the holidays kicked off, but if you keep up what these simple tips – you might at least weigh the same.

And then you can start kicking ass and getting your dream body from January 1st forward.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz

Camille Mae (2)

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