This time of year holidays are all around us. Whether you celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Festivus or none of these, you are bound to encounter many calorie laden treats throughout the month. What do I do when I am confronted by treats at every turn? Am I a paragon of virtue that never lets anything with sugar or fat pass my lips? Of course not! I enjoy a treat as much as the next person and I love to bake too. So do we just throw in the towel and plan to have eater’s remorse when January rolls around? There is no need to anticipate overdoing it, you just need to have a plan!
Step #1 – Try to keep up your normal eating habits and routines as much as possible. This may be the only time of year that Starbucks has an Eggnog Latte, but if you have one every day you’ll gain about 4 pounds by the end of the month. Make treats a rare exception to your normal routine and really savor them. If you normally exercise 4 days a week, try to stick as closely to this as you can. If you end up having to skip one or two workouts because you have other commitments that’s fine, just get right back on track at the next opportunity.
Step #2 – Keep portions of high calorie foods small. You may love Aunt June’s famous Rum Balls, but keep it to just one or two – you don’t need to eat all of them. Love your Grandmother’s sticky buns, but they happen to be the size of dinner plate? Cut one in half and fill the rest of your plate with Aunt Minnie’s fruit salad. You can still enjoy these treats without going overboard. You know they will be back next year.
Step #3 – Pass on those things that are not really “worth it” to you. Not a big fan of Eggnog? Skip it! Just because ’tis the season doesn’t mean you must try it all. Most holiday meals and parties are invitations to overindulge with long menus and heavily laden buffet tables. Pick and choose items carefully to only include those things you really want and then slowly savor and enjoy those treats.
Step #4 – Spend time with family and friends doing special things together. Aunt June might really appreciate it if you spent the afternoon together making those Rum Balls more than seeing you eat them. Get together with friends to walk around a downtown area to view decorations. Just make sure to take time to stop, look around and remember the meaning of whichever holiday you celebrate.
Enjoy the holidays and I hope you have a happy, prosperous and healthy 2012!