Tara’s Holiday Survival Tips

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I cannot believe how fast this holiday season has approached. I guess I’ve been a bit busy with 4 competitions, traveling and now WOW here are the holidays. I want to share my survival tips with you to help you have a healthy and happy holiday season.

Holidays should be considered a time for celebration with family and friends. Unfortunately, they have become synonymous for eating an abundance of fattening foods. It’s almost as if we’ve come to accept that we are going to put on 10 pounds during each holiday season. Celebration doesn’t have to mean gluttonous eating or deprivation for that matter. It’s time to bring the focus back to the purpose of the holiday. Enjoy your friends and family, the time off and the traditions of the holidays. The key is to go into the holidays with a plan! Below are 12 tips to help you create a plan to succeed during this holiday season.

1) Be ACCOUNTABLE for what you are eating. I know if I have to log the food into my food journal it will keep me honest. It may surprise you how quickly those calories can add up!! So to help, know what types of foods will be offered and what you are going to choose to eat. Let’s face it; in general, you know what types of foods are on the Christmas, Hanukkah, and Party dinner tables. Plan ahead of time!

2) Don’t go to the table telling people you’re “eating healthy this holiday season”. There’s no need to bring attention to your food choices. People will feel that you are not enjoying yourself or that they should feel guilty about what they are eating. You’re more likely to have success if you keep it low-key.

3) Fill your plate heavily with vegetables, fruits and lower fat foods. Start your eating with these foods and then eat your favorites. This way you won’t be so hungry for the calorically dense foods. Besides, your relatives and the people around you are only going to draw attention to your food choices if you have an empty plate or are picking at food. This way, you are eating! Your plate is full and you are enjoying the foods you’ve chosen. No one should feel sorry for you, including you!

4) Don’t say yes to all that is before you. You don’t need to pick at every gift basket that’s left at your desk or eat your way through the holiday buffets. Choose wisely and carefully. Many food gifts that I receive will go into the freezer and I will enjoy them over time – NOT all at once.

5) If you’re cooking, try not to nibble throughout the day. All those little bites add up.

6) If you’re cooking, try some new lighter recipes. Use high quality, fresh ingredients and the foods will taste great. You just don’t want to tell your guests that they’re lighter until after they’ve already enjoyed it. We’re predetermined to think that healthy food can’t be good.

7) If you’re not cooking, offer to bring a dish. Bring something that you know you can fill up on without the guilt. I love to make a roasted veggie salad. It is easy – roast up a big pan of veggies in the oven with a bit of olive oil (I spray it one) and garlic. When its cooled put over a bed of lettuce. Homemade cranberry sauce makes a great dressing.

8) Moderate your drinking at the holidays because it most often leads to the worst choices. Alcohol will slow down your metabolism and your good judgment. Try a wine spritzer instead of champagne. Or just try to limit yourself so you can enjoy your holiday fully! Remember alcohol is a carb – I prefer to eat my carbs vs drink them.

9) Have a healthy snack before you go to a holiday meal. Don’t go to a party on an empty stomach when you get to the party and you’re already satisfied, you’re less likely to eat as a reaction to hunger.

10) Get your exercise and maintain your workout schedule. Plan a family walk after meals. My family and I always go for a walk after Christmas dinner, it is a fun way to see the neighborhood lights and decorations. When you take care of yourself regularly with exercise, your desire for unhealthy foods tends to decrease. But remember you cannot out-exercise a bad diet. Do NOT go and do 2 hours of cardio to off-set a bad day of eating. Life HAPPENS and one day of bad eating will not make you fat, just like one day of dieting will not make you skinny.

11) If at first you don’t succeed, don’t throw in the towel. Most of us tend to eat out of control after we give in to that initial temptation. Don’t assume that because you ate a piece of cake that you now have to try every type of pie on the table. Accept your choice and then move on. Do not allow that one treat to cause a binge.

12) Control Stress – We often eat as a result of stress or emotions. The holiday season can be a tiring, stressful time. Make sure to take time for relaxation and exercise so that you’re not prone to eating for stress management.

I hope these tips will help you survive the 2014 Holiday Season!

Enjoy your time with your family and friends.

Have a safe and happy Holiday Season!!

 

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