Thanksgiving is next week, and that means a giant meal with all kinds of delicious things: mashed potatoes, pies galore, all things creamy and most likely fattening. I’ve never been one to be super picky about my foods because they were bad for me, that’s no secret. (Picky because there was onions on it? Yes.) But since I’ve put so much weight on thanks to not really running much and still healing from my surgery, I’ve had to be really careful with what I have been eating. Thankfully, I’ve been pretty stable at the weight I’m at right now, sometimes even going down a few lbs here and there.
That being said – holidays are my downfall. I adore Thanksgiving for it’s apple and pumpkin pies, the mashed potatoes, the corn and the gravy. I love Hanukkah because it has potato latkes (or pancakes) with apple sauce and sour cream and dreidel games with lots of chocolate. And then there is Christmas – the holiday of amazing cookies, delicious candies, and a giant meal on Christmas Day.
Basically, holidays that are all food all the time.
So that brings me to my 5 tips and tricks that I use to keep myself in check during the holidays. It allows me to enjoy the things that I adore (pumpkin pie, festive drinks, holiday cookies and the sort) and not feel guilty. After all, it’s the holidays, and keeping yourself from enjoying your favorite things might make you gumpy, and from what I hear, Santa hates that kind of stuff.
Get Active: Seriously. It’s that simple. I’m running a half marathon the morning of Thanksgiving, and that will free up enough calories to enjoy a scoop of mashed potatoes and a slice of pie with whipped cream. I usually run a 5k on New Years Eve. Getting active not only gets those miles in and helps with those endorphins needed to sit through screaming kids opening up presents, it will burn some calories to allow a treat here and there. On Christmas morning, I love walking around about mid afternoon and watching the kids outside with their new toys. (It helps that I’m in Florida and it doesn’t snow, I’m aware)
Change up your recipes: One year, instead of that green bean casserole with the fried onions (yuck!!) and the cream of mushroom soup and the beans out of a can, I just steamed some fresh green beans and had Dreamboat make this epic cheese sauce that was part parm and part milk. It was looked down on until it was tasted. AMAZING. And significantly less calories than the heavy alternative that we all grew up eating. If it isn’t a family classic, I suggest changing it up and grabbing some lower calorie versions. Homemade cranberry sauce has more nutritional value than the canned version you buy. There are a tons of different green bean recipes, potato recipes, even stuffing recipes. There are even some less caloric options for pies and cookies. Just give a search, or head over to my new favorite place to get recipes: Pinterest!
Drink water through out the day: I have a board on Pinterest that is just for drinks. Because I like liquids. (You already know I adore the calorie free MiO drinks) Here’s the thing – if you know you are going to be drinking a calorie laden drink later in the evening, grab waters or MiO to drink during the day. Save up those calories for later in the evenings. I drink a cup of coffee in the morning but then I grab water or MiO during the day, especially if I know I’m going to have hot cider or mulled wine with dinner. Sometimes I make it a weekly treat and stick to water all week and enjoy those delicious drinks on Saturday (my cheat day, given my work schedule)
Accept sweet treat gifts, then take them to work: I like to give cookies as my gifts to most of my friends. I’m a tight budget and can’t afford to buy all my friends presents. That’s where baking cookies comes in. I was told by a few significant others that the cookies made their way to other parties and to their places of employment. At first I was bummed, but then I realized that I do offer A LOT of cookies in my gifts. I recommend you do the same. If you get a big tin of cookies, candies, or another sweet treat and don’t want the temptation, get it out of your home where you are most likely to nosh unconsciously. Enjoy a few and then share the wealth.
Eat Breakfast: I suck at this. I forget to grab something to eat and then figure since I’m eating later, I’ll be okay. But when you are starving from skipping meals, you tend to over eat and not even TASTE your food. Not cool, especially after so much time was spent working on getting it ready! So grab a healthy breakfast (and a cup of coffee) and know that later you will have the delicious treats you want and will take the time to enjoy them. I usually go with an egg scramble: Eggs, mushrooms, some cheddar cheese, and if we have it, bacon or sausage. That and a cup of coffee and I’m good until that big late lunch meal.
Those are my tips and tricks to keep from overeating and destroying my progress during the holidays. Comment below and tell me what yours are! Let’s share and do this together!