During the holidays, whether it be Christmas, Thanksgiving, or the upcoming festive Memorial Day, we like to celebrate with family, friends and… FOOD. Not to fear the “F” word, I have a simple, yet effective plan to beat the holiday downfall while still allowing yourself to indulge (a little).
Days 7-1 Away From the Festivities:
1.) Increase your cardio duration and intensity. This week, I recommend 2-3 days per week at 45-60 minutes moderate pace and 2-3 days per week at 30-45 minutes interval training. I will post a video this week of an example of both styles.
2.) Eliminate all excess sugar. Condiments, that bite of your child’s or significant other’s ice-cream and the obvious late night runs to Dunkin’ Doughnuts have to go.
3.) Decrease salt intake. Aside from skipping the added salt on your meals, glance at the packaging in your foods. If it is over 400 mg, toss it this week.
4.) Increase water intake. Fluids help push salt, toxins and fat through your body. Gulping down will also help reduce belly bloat. The Institute of Medicine advises men to drink 3.7 liters per day and women to drink 2.7 liters per day, on average. Increasing water intake beyond this medium marker will only add to the weight-loss benefits.
5.) NOTE: Ensure you are still getting enough fiber and minerals from vegetables not listed if following this step. Although most of the following listed foods are great to eat normally, according to the Mayo Clinic, they will cause excess bloat. When you want to indulge a little extra during the holidays, it is best to begin with a smooth palate. Try avoiding these gas-producing foods for just this week:
- Baked beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Carbonated drinks
- Chewing gum
- Fruits such as apples, peaches and pears
- Hard candy
Day of the Festivities:
1.) Wake up refreshed for a morning workout. I would advise calm-inducing exercise such as yoga, Pilates or dance. Re-focusing your brain by calming your breath and energizing your body in a new way will help you walk into the party with a clear mind and a healthy spirit and allow you to follow my next steps below.
1.) Create your favorite tasty, yet healthy main or side dish and bring it with you to share. You will have at least one food combo of which you can definitely consume a full portion.
2.) On your plate, sample-size (equivalent to one or two bites) each item you are yearning to try. If you want your favorite beverages, choose one, or like a wine tasting, sample each. You will probably add your fun sizes up to one dessert, one side dish and one beverage. Now, you can eat all the food and drinks you want in small enough portions so you don’t find yourself stuffed and defeated.
3.) Enjoy the time with family and friends. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and evening, and ensure you eat every 2-3 hours while you are at the party. For your next meal, choose healthier entrees and side dishes so you can leave satisfied that you ate what you wanted (in moderation) and stuck to your plan.