Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holidays: The End of your Healthy Lifestyle?

I’m winging my way across the ocean today (plane and weather gods willing) while you read this. Hopefully on Friday, I will be writing from sunny Texas.

Weightloss Wednesday, right before Christmas. What shall we talk about?

Should we discuss all the cakes, cookies and pies everywhere we turn? How about fat-laden mashed potatoes, all the bread you can eat, and the alcohol that flows freely at holiday parties?

What’s a poor girl trying to make healthy choices to do?

Give it all up until after the first of the year? We could do that. But that’s 2 weeks and if you’re anything like me, you’ll take license to eat whatever you want and to damn the rest. When it’s time to start back up again, you’ve gained back that 20 pounds you lost before Christmas.

Deprive yourself? You watch everyone around you shoving all those calories down their throats without abandon. You start feeling left out. Then is desperation, or possibly even spite, you indulge. And indulge and indulge and indulge.

Neither of these options sound all that appealing, do they? With a plan in place, you can weather the holidays, indulging in the traditions that make up your family holiday and keeping on a healthy track. After all, balance is what it’s all about, right?

If you have a holiday gathering, eat a little less during the day beforehand and get in your exercise. You’ll feel more in control and by conserving some calories and burning more with the exercise, the food you eat at the party won’t make a dent in your plan.

If you’re hanging with the family, incorporate some healthy snacks along with the baked goodies. If you eat a bunch of low-cal veggies, you don’t have as much room to hold the high-cal foods. You may even find that you don’t crave them as much as you thought you would.

There’s always lots of alcohol at holiday parties, right? You can still indulge. In moderation. Alternate glasses of wine with sparkling water. Or do like the Germans do and mix half wine and half sparkling wine. That’s a popular drink over here and it cuts your alcohol intake in half.

One important thing to remember is that the holidays are separate events. If you stick to your healthy lifestyle most days and indulge at those special parties or family gatherings only, you’ll still be on track in January.

What are some of the ways you balance your healthy lifestyle with the holidays?


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