Starting with Thanksgiving, what is intended to be a time for family members to gather to reflect on our blessings turns into a 3-day food fest with the full spread of turkey, stuffing, gravy… (well, you know how it goes), then consuming all the leftovers into the weekend. It’s that one time of year where we are encouraged to stuff ourselves to the point where we can’t move. Does anybody know how this came to be?
Let’s move on. Then up goes the Christmas lights and all the parties to follow. The friends’ parties, the office parties, the kids’ school parties, then another family get together on Christmas. Food, food and more food, and they’re usually not fresh fruit and veggie trays.
Oh, we’re not done yet! On New Year’s eve there’s more food and we won’t talk about all the alcohol. I should mention here that I use the term “food” very loosely. Cakes, pastries, cookies would hardly be considered “food” in my book. But none of us will deny that we are bombarded by these during the holiday trilogy.I didn’t mention Halloween, so as not to make folks feel more guilty. But with Halloween now as the second “holiday” where consumers spend the most, not to mention being surrounded by more sweets, I’m sure we’ll soon add this to our trilogy of holidays. Of course, we’ll then have to call Holiday Quadlogy. I know that’s not a word. OK, the Holiday Quartet.
By January, is it any wonder why the average American will gain 5-7 pounds? Hmm? I remember when even that number was 2-3 pounds not too long ago. Inflation, right? Anyhow, we’ve eaten our way through the holidays and are now carrying around a whole lot of guilt, along with the extra pounds.
So, how can one avoid holiday weight gain? I can already hear some of you saying, “IMPOSSIBLE!” Rest assured. This is possible! How do I know? Because many of those who train with me regularly do it. I wish I can say ALL of them, but some do fall through the cracks.
As busy as most of you are during the holidays, I’ll keep this brief. For starters, determine for yourself right from the outset that you will limit your food portions. For example, a few slices of turkey, a small scoop of stuffing and potatoes…you can figure this out for yourself. Then go very light on the dressings and sauces. Rather than drowning everything in gravy, just put a smidgen of it on the side then dip your fork into it to get the flavor of it, then into the turkey or potatoes.
As the eating begins, DON’T RUSH! I know how exciting it can be to dive right into all that great food. But be sure to chew slowly and thoroughly and take regular sips of water throughout the meal. You hear me talk about water all the time and I’ll beat that drum again here. Water is always preferred, for obvious reasons, but if you have to have your glass of wine or apple cider, then limit that to two glasses.
Then there’s always the desserts. As many of you know I’m not a fan of dieting and deprivation. So yes, you can have your cake (or pie) and eat it too. Here again, moderation is key. Just a small slice and hold the whipped cream.
So, if you’re one of those who dread the holidays for this reason, it doesn’t have to be that way! Make this the year that you actually lose weight and get in better shape over the holiday season! Till next time, have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Check out my parody of “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” as “Eating Healthy’s Hard To Do” for all those who find trying to eat healthy a challenge, this song might be appropriate for you. Enjoy! Click here to watch the video!