Surviving the Holidays
Tips from IFBB pro Sandi Forsythe on how to beat holiday food temptations
It’s about that time of year again: holiday parties, festivals, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas, Cookies, and drinks. It can be a real trap and can really reek havoc on your fitness goals! So how do you enjoy these family events without jeopardizing your goals? There are a few helpful tips and tricks I like to use when enjoying the holidays and parties:
1) The holiday wine party. You have been invited to a holiday party and asked to bring a dish to pass, you know it’s going to be a feast of cookies, candies, and drinks; however will you stay on track at an event like this! It’s possible! When invited to events such as these I like to take a big vegetable platter- cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. You can use hummus or Greek yogurt for a dip rather than high fat traditional dips. This way you have something to snack on at the party that will keep you from eating a half dozen cookies! And believe it or not others will appreciate the healthy options, too!
2) Eat before you go. Yes, I always eat my healthy dinner meal before I go to a party so that I am not starving and tempted at the party! When you walk into the sugar filled room hungry- you’re going to eat it! If you are satisfied walking in you are less likely to indulge.
3) Be careful what you sip. Yes, those alcoholic beverages are filled with “empty calories” and they add up quickly. I like to take an all natural diet soda, protein shake, or hot tea with me to a party so I have something to sip on that is not going to bust my fitness goals.
4) The Christmas cookie baking day. We all do it, we bake way too many Christmas cookies and it is a fun tradition to do with your children. The problem is we also eat too many of them! I love baking with my kids and enjoy the tradition of the Christmas cookie but I limit myself. Before we start baking I tell myself “I will have one cookie today with my children and that is ALL”. Set limits so that you stay on track and are able to enjoy traditions without killing your fitness goals!
5) Enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas. On these days I set aside one meal - a “treat meal” - to have with my family. I do however still make healthy choices when filling my plate. Drink plenty of water with and before your meal so that you feel full and satisfied. Load up on lean turkey and veggies and eat carbohydrates in moderation. Don’t get so full you can’t enjoy a small desert, and remember to listen to your body and stop when you are full! All too often we indulge and go way over board on these meals and then feel awful after.
6) Remember what this time of the year is about: it’s not about eating and food, it’s about family, friends, memories, and traditions. Don’t focus on the food focus on the people around you!
It not the ONE “treat meal” on Thanksgiving day or Christmas day that will do you in, it’s all the little snacking and overeating at parties through the holiday season that really adds up. So be careful throughout the festivities and then let yourself enjoy a “treat meal” on Thanksgiving and Christmas.