Let’s face it: it is hard to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan during the holidays.
Everywhere we turn there are tempting foods and drinks—from treats at office parties to our own traditional family favorites. When you add in a busy schedule filled with shopping and get-togethers that make it tough to squeeze in exercise, you have a recipe for disaster as far as the scales are concerned.
We asked Brenda Casamento, of the Vi Healthy LifestyleAdvisory Board, for advice on how to get through the holidays without gaining weight. The good new is – it’s possible! It will take some effort, but you will thank yourself a thousand times when January 1st rolls around and you have no regrets!
Your Goal: Maintenance
In order to greet the New Year without tipping the scale, it is wise to try to maintain your weight during the next few weeks instead of trying to lose. Remember: you want to enjoy the holidays, not be miserable from deprivation. This means that you will allow yourself occasional treats and splurges and keep the scale where it is rather than trying to actually decrease your weight.
There are several ways to accomplish this:
Sound scary? It’s supposed to! Find an accountability partner… Let them know what your current weight is and check in with them each time you weigh yourself. Not that brave? Make a public commitment statement saying you “commit to stay fit with the #ViFamily challenge” That kind of intense accountability will give you will power when the cheesecake and fudge starts showing up at the office or parties! Celebrate with photos of before/after and be sure to continue and go to enter.vi.com to WIN!
Don’t skip your workouts.
Something is always better than nothing, tune in to our weekly FREE Facebook Live workouts on Tuesday and Thursdays or find a Challenge Group happening near you. Even moderate intensity workouts can burn 300-400 calories per hour. You need this calorie-burn to keep up with the richer food that you will be eating. You will also be less likely to overeat if you have just sweated through a hard workout! Weigh yourself each week. Normally it is not a good idea to step on the scale too often, but during the holidays it’s a great way to stay on track with your goals.
People who eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day than those who skip this important meal. HAVE YOUR VISHAKE OR CRUNCH CEREAL or try some of the fabulous recipes at recipes.vi.com
Keep a food diary.
Write down every single thing you eat—even if it is only one bite of shrimp cocktail. It is a proven fact that keeping a food journal results in better weight control than not keeping one. Social eating/drinking generally leads to letting down your guard and consuming more than you normally would. You can also log into www.challenge.com to track as well.
Monitor your hunger.
Never show up at a party or buffet ravenous—you will overeat. Drink plenty of water and have a protein-filled snack (such as Nutra-Cookie, Nutra-Bar, Vi-bites, nuts or cheese) before arriving. This will help you to have more self-control around the temptations. It’s okay to say NO politely. You’re not obligated to eat high-calorie foods and consume empty calorie drinks. When you can, bring a healthy option you love to dish-to-pass or potluck situations.
Watch your portion size.
If you have an idea of how much food you are putting on your plate, you will be less likely to overdo it. Take a look at the chart to familiarize yourself with portion sizes as they compare to your hand. Having a few bites of that delectable dessert is better than finishing the whole thing. When being served ask for a smaller portion, or decide to share with a family member or friend.
Deal quickly with leftovers.
If you have unhealthy leftovers in your home, you are likely to indulge. Don’t leave them sitting around. Freeze them, give them away or toss them. It’s not worth the temptation! If you are baking cookies be aware of “over sampling” and if they are gifts give them away… asap! Remember if it is in your house you will be more likely to consume more of it.
Be aware of where you stand at the party…
No need to hang out around the food table or have a cocktail constantly in your hand. Carry a bottle of water, or a healthy drink, like Neon, Neuro, or Vi-Defy, then get out and mingle. Conversation is calorie-free and standing is better then sitting (burns more calories). When the party is over help clean up to burn even more calories.
You can survive the holidays with no added weight gain. Remember these tips and keep a vision of what you want to feel like on January 1 in mind. It’s going to be a great holiday season!