Thanksgiving is the kick off to a never-ending slew of holiday parties among friends, family, workplaces, neighbors, and nearly any social group. As I’m sure you all experienced with Thanksgiving, the holidays also tend to mean indulging in things you wouldn’t normally, i.e. fatty foods, seasonal drinks, a higher number of drinks, and increased laziness (read: slacking on workouts).
The holiday season presents many dietary hurdles for those of us watching our waistlines—leaving many women searching for the almighty answer to “how can I maintain my figure during the holiday season?” Let’s face it: the holidays are the one designated time of year to spend with family. Being around those you love makes everyone more comfortable and tends to make people deviate from their normal eating and drinking habits. Whether it’s the warm fuzzy feeling of bonding with Mom in the kitchen over a family recipe (that uses full-fat everything), to going out to bars with friends you haven’t seen in years once you’re actually home, to the spread of comfort food at your holiday feast—I’d be shocked to hear if you didn’t expect to gain at least a pound or two. There’s no reason to stress about this! Too often I hear women saying, “Ugh, I feel disgusting from eating that [insert comfort food of choice here]. I need to go on a diet this week.” Instead of mentally preparing yourself for a near-starvation diet, simply follow these easy 3 steps.
1. Don’t worry about it! Stressing over a few pounds or a little bloat may result in even more over-eating, not to mention a decrease in self confidence. There’s no use in over-thinking the damage that’s already been done. Nervous eaters take note! Giving this more thought than necessary will lead to even more over-eating. Let this slide—it’s a mere slip-up in your normal dietary routine. You’ll get back on track tomorrow (Don’t just say it, actually follow through with it!)
2. Don’t automatically think that 1 day of indulgence means you have to go on a crash “diet.” It is always best to think about your normal eating routines as just that: your norm. If you’ve overeaten for a day or so, going on a crash diet will not be fun. Because your stomach will already be stretched out to the quantity of food you consumed, you will feel like you’re starving yourself if you severely cut your portions to miniscule amounts. Instead, switch back to your normal portion sizes for the next few days and simply make healthy eating choices. After a day of overeating (remember last Thursday?) I make sure to increase my consumption of water based foods (salad, raw veggies + hummus, actual water) and switch back to my typical smaller portion sizes. There’s no need to punish yourself, just revert back to your norm.
3. Sweat it out! Don’t lose sight of your workouts & portion control. Just because you may feel slightly pudgy-er due to your food baby doesn’t mean that you should pity yourself and slack on workouts. There’s no better feeling than working up a sweat (hello, endorphins!) and it will make you feel a bit more at ease because you’re being proactive about alleviating your bloat. There’s no use in putting yourself through an especially grueling workout—you will be excessively sore tomorrow and won’t want to continue to work out for a few days, only making your gross feeling even worse. Opt for a light cardio routine (yoga, brisk walk, light jog) to get the food “moving through your system”