With the holidays upon us, many people fear for their waistline. Holiday’s bring gatherings with friends and family and most likely you will also be surrounded by a ton of food. We aren’t talking about just any kind of food; we are talking about some of the most delicious food we see all year. Just thinking about it makes some people’s pants tight. You can enjoy all of this amazing food without guilt or having to worry about your pants not fitting after a few gatherings. All you need to do is follow the tips below and you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays without any regret.
1. Have a small meal prior to the gathering
By having a small meal that is full of protein and healthy fats, you will feel satiated and not over-indulge at the gathering. This will allow you to pace yourself throughout the gathering rather than piling plate after plate of food into your mouth.
2. Drink water
Water will trick your mind into thinking your stomach is full and does not need food. Not only will this keep you from having a fork in your mouth all day or night, but it will also keep you hydrated as well.
3. Fiber is your friend
At the party, if you are starving but don’t want to completely crush your diet, fill up on fiber. Many parties have vegetable and fruit trays. Head on over and grab a plate of things such as broccoli and apples to say goodbye to hunger pangs during the gathering.
4. Utilize intermittent fasting
If you use intermittent fasting as your nutritional plan, you can schedule your gathering to fit your food window. Now you can take in all of your calories throughout the gathering (assuming it is several hours) and not feel bad about what you ate. Obviously eating as clean as possible is still ideal, this isn’t a time to eat 2,000 calories worth of pies and desserts.
5. Workout prior to the holiday gathering
A workout is a great way to burn off calories so you can enjoy yourself a little at the holiday gathering. A resistance training workout along with some cardio will allow you some flexibility to eat some goodies at the gathering that you normally wouldn’t touch on your diet. HIIT would also be a great way to fit in a quick workout if you’re crunched for time but still want to burn off some calories so you aren’t regretting everything you ate at the gathering.
6. Move after your meals
A great way to not feel like a loaf after eating too much food at the gathering would be to grab your buddies or family members and go out for a walk or play a pick-up game of football or basketball. This can help you burn off some of those calories you just ate, maybe even allowing you some room for an extra piece of pie later.
7. Portion out your plate if you don’t trust yourself
If you know you’ll probably end up eating more than you should, plan out your plate ahead of time. Create a pie chart so to speak, and portion out half of your plate for vegetables and the rest split up evenly with protein and carbohydrates (the good kind, like home-made mac and cheese).
8. Minimize or skip the alcohol
You don’t need to drink in order to have a good time. And many of those drinks are simply empty calories anyway. So, if you want to have a couple drinks to enjoy yourself and let loose a little then by all means go ahead, but know that you’re probably going to be over-indulging in food as is, and the alcohol on top of it might just do you in calorically speaking.
9. Offer to help
What generally happens when people are standing around just talking? They almost always have a drink or food in their hand, right? In order to pace yourself at the gathering, stay busy. This means asking the host if you can help with something. Maybe part of the meal still needs to be prepared, or after the meal rather than standing around picking at food go help with the dishes or with putting things away. This can save you hundreds of calories by staying away from food you don’t necessarily want or food that you shouldn’t keep eating.
10. Pick and choose your battles
You know you’re going to eat dessert, don’t think you’re fooling anyone. So, with that being said, plan out your food options. You don’t need to eat EVERYTHING at the gathering. Pick and choose what you want and give yourself a safety net by not over-eating on certain foods to leave some calories for dessert later. Or if you know the guys will be enjoying some scotch or eggnog after the meal, leave some calories so you can enjoy yourself with your buddies or family.