5 healthy tips for surviving the holiday season — without gaining weight
By Brittany Anas
So you got asked to judge a cookie contest at the office? Or, your standing weeknight dates with the gym are being derailed by holiday parties — complete with wine, rich meals and a dessert table.
No wonder Santa has such a big belly.
Here’s 5 easy tips for surviving the holiday season — and keeping your waistline trim:
- Exercise first thing in the morning. There’s a fierce debate in the fitness community over whether its best to work out in the morning or at night. We’ll leave that to scientists to figure out. But, during December, getting to the gym first thing in the morning is no doubt one of the best things you can do to stay on track with your workouts. The holiday season is busy. You might need to use your lunch hour to run errands or head straight from work to your daughter’s holiday play. Try a high-intensity interval training class to get in an efficient workout before you head into the office. Shorten your beauty routine by going with some natural waves. Add some Beach Babe texturizing sea salt spray before you blow dry. No need to spend extra time with a flat iron or curling iron. If you’re really in a time crunch, throw on a shower cap and use a dry shampoo to lift grease from your hair and add volume. (Money-saving tip: Earn 8 percent Cash Back on your purchases from Ulta with ShopAtHome.com).
- Bring a healthy side dish to the potluck. That way, you know there will be at least one dish among the creamy casseroles and decadent desserts that you won’t feel guilty about eating. Some ideas: Fruit with a yogurt dip, vegetables and hummus, peppadew peppers filled with couscous, goat cheese and pine nuts (recipe here). If you’re hosting, try some teriyaki chicken or shrimp skewers and setting out some crunchy vegetables.
- Pick your splurge items. So you’re not really the biggest fan of egg nog and you really don’t like Aunt Norma’s fruitcake. Skip the calories and only splurge on the holiday treats that you love. Plan ahead of time and know what you’ll splurge on — and what you’ll pass on this year.
- Make a big pot of veggie soup. For the days you know you’ll be having a big, fancy four-course meal or will be indulging in a slice of holiday pie a la mode, plan ahead of time and eat a light lunch. Veggie soup is perfect because it packs a lot of fiber — and will help you full while being low on calories. Try the highly-rated Weight Watchers fresh vegetable soup. You can whip up 12 servings in 35 minutes. Portion it out in Tupperware so you can grab-and-go on your way to work.
- Watch your alcohol intake: Instead of going for a high-fat brandy-and-eggnog combo, opt instead for a light beer or a glass of wine. (One cup of eggnog has roughly 350 calories). Enjoy one or two drinks, but after that stick to no-calorie drinks like a hot tea or — best yet — water.
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