Okay, here we are at the tip top of the roller coaster, otherwise known as “THE HOLIDAYS”. Whether your celebration is religious or secular, there is really no escaping the “holidays”, and why would you want to? Enjoy the ride because in six short weeks it’s all over, baby! We will be beginning a brand new year! You can reach 2016 bloated, lethargic and full of self loathing or clear headed, with minimal or NO weight gain and a sense of empowerment. It’s time to choose!
This is my holiday gift to you—6 strategies to put in place during the next 6 weeks.
- Strategy #1: Stay hydrated.
I can’t emphasize this enough. Adequate hydration can help control calorie intake, energize your muscles, keep your skin glowing and camera ready, and assist your kidneys in the daunting task of ridding your body of holiday toxins. Expert recommendations are to consume 1/2 to 1 oz. per pound of body weight. That’s 75 oz. (minimum) for a 150 lb. elf. So drink up!
- Strategy #2: Exercise—no matter what!
On-line shopping doesn’t count. There are gazoodles of studies out there that show that you can get a killer workout in a very short period of time, so you have no excuse not to get in at least one 15 minute workout three or four days per week, if not every day. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Body squats done “Tabata style”—20 seconds of squats, 10 seconds of rest, for 8 rounds. 4 minutes total. Tone the intensity of the squats up or down depending on your current fitness levels.
- Inclined push-ups on your staircase (if you have one)—perform your push-up then bend your knees, squat and jump to the next stair. Repeat till you reach the top. 2-3 minutes.
- Take a brisk walk. Duh. Pets can be helpful here. Two or three 10 minute walks per day.
- Kitchen ballet—my counter tops become my barre anytime I’m in the kitchen, and I’m in the kitchen a lot during the holidays. Spontaneous bursts of several seconds each.
- Grab your TRX (Don’t try to tell me you don’t have one.) and get busy. 15 minutes gets you a full body workout, from the jingle bell on your Santa hat to the ends of your curly toed shoes.
- Strategy #3: Have a healthy snack with you at all times. Having a little sumthin sumthin in your bag or pocket can save you, ‘cause when hunger strikes, all you see is Dunkin Doughnuts. Stash an apple, an energy bar, a little bag of mixed nuts….you get the idea.
- Strategy #4: Drink red wine. Now I have your attention. According to Eating Well Magazine, studies show that people tend to pour less red wine in a glass than they do white wine. Nine percent less. Maybe that’s because it’s easier to see red wine so you stop pouring quicker. Another trick they say is to drink your red wine in a white wine glass. White wine glasses are taller and skinnier, so they look fuller with less wine. Next baby step: limit the number of glasses you pour. One tip is to not let the server “refresh” your wine glass until it is empty. That way you can keep track of exactly how much wine you have consumed, and stop at a predetermined limit.
- Strategy #5: Cook ahead. It is so much easier to eat healthy (I’m sick of the word clean) when there is healthy food available in your fridge. Make a big pot of minestrone or buy one of those party trays of fresh raw veggies to munch. Shameless promotion: You can find oodles of great recipes here on my blog. Thank you, Chief Tina Martini.
- Strategy #6: Every day is a new day. You can’t change the binge fest at last night’s office party, but you can start fresh each day. Don’t hang on to the discretions, just move on and the make next day a win.
So, there you have it. Six simple steps to keep you feeling the holiday spirit while still fitting into your party dress. According to my dog’s trainer, it takes 34 days to make a habit. Follow these six strategies now and you may find yourself with some healthy new habits for the New Year. Bonus!
photo credit: Santacon 2009 - Astoria, Queens NYC via photopin (license)