Let’s face it, the holidays are the enemy of fat loss and personal fitness. In fact you’re probably already thinking about some type of delicious cheesecake or pineapple upside-down cake or some other remarkable dessert.
Perhaps you’re wondering, “How am I going to make it thru to January 1st without completely undoing all of my most recent hard work in the gym?”.
If you’re already worried about how to stay away from all the treats and sweets, we have some expert advice for you.
The director of clinical dietetics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, Jennifer K. Nelson explains that the key to a maintaining your current level of fitness and personal health during the holidays does not have to involve avoiding any one particular meal or dessert.
Instead, Jennifer explains that you should focus on potion control and a type of “normalcy” to your daily exercise and eating habits.
6 Tips to Maintain Your Fitness Thru the Holidays
1). Never starve yourself in an attempt to make up for it later
Begin your day with your usual breakfast if you want to get your thanksgiving off to the best start. Starving yourself or eating too little in the early part of the day can leave a huge gap to be filled.
Always try to eat your regular meals and drink plenty of water as this will curb your appetite for sweets and unhealthy desserts.
Takeaway: Begin your day with a normal breakfast and maintain a conscious effort throughout the day to eat at your normal times and to eat similar portions as you normally would.
2). Maintain healthy portions
Nelson advises us to fill half our plates with greens and vegetables. One-quarter of the plate should be filled with our favorite meats and the last quarter with a starch of our choice. One plate of food is all we need she says, the more colorful the better. Therefore we need lots of greens and veggies included in our meal.
The key is to consume foods which are highly nutritious but low in caloric density. These foods such as our greens will keep us feeling full but not tired and bloated.
If you are true to the holidays go ahead and indulge a bit. But keep in mind, instead of going back for double servings of pumpkin pie cheesecake, go for a salad or another healthy alternative.
Keep the most unhealthy foods down to single servings, while doubling and tripling up if possible on your greens and healthy carbohydrates.
3). Use healthier ingredients
This may be one of the smartest moves you could possibly make. So instead of adding tonnes of butter to your mashed potatoes, Nelson suggests using a mixture of roasted garlic, herbs and chicken broth to bring flavor to certain dishes.
Instead of using pre-sifted white flour for your pastries, you can try spelt flour or brown rice flour, she also recommended using Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour creams as this healthy alternative contain more protein but less fat than creams.
4). Avoid eating skin
Turkey and chicken skin contain considerable amounts of fat. By refusing to eat the skin you stay clear of a few extra calories. An easy tip and small sacrifice in flavor here that will make a big difference.
5). Stay hydrated and keep moving
Thirst can often be misinterpreted as hunger, therefore, staying hydrated is one way to prevent over indulgence.
Additionally you should aim to stay active throughout the day. Even post Thanksgiving dinner if you can convince a family member or two to take a walk around the neighborhood with you; you’ll keep your metabolism up and will lower the odds that you’ll feel tired and even hungrier.
6). Snack healthy during the day
Fruits and raw vegetables are your true best friends during this holiday season. If you are on a diet and are used to having healthy snacks during the day, don’t stop. This could really help you to come out on top and leave you feeling confident about your efforts.