Create an arsenal for holiday debacles so that when New Years 2016 appears you aren't ready to watch two days of infomercials for your next quick fix.
Allow a Cheat Day
Your body doesn't always metabolize food daily, it is actually geared to work over longer periods of time. You can balance a high-calorie day by eating less food on the days before and after one you anticipate overeating. Similar to the theory of Carb Cycling, you can create a metabolic furnace by keeping your body guessing.
Fill up the Tank Before you Go
If you are worried that nothing healthy is on the Holiday spread, eat before you go to your event. Hunger may cause you to over eat and fill up on the wrong kinds of food (or, if you are anything like me, the large variety of food might make you want to try one or more of everything in sight!) Instead, eat a low-calorie snack that's high in protein and fiber before leaving the house. This trick may help you avoid 3 trips to the chip and dip table.
Some suggestions on what you should snack on: Celery with peanut butter (no more than 2 tablespoons), 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese, an apple, fruit dipped in greek yogurt, air popped popcorn sprinkled with parmesan cheese, carrots and sliced peppers dipped in 2 tablespoons of hummus, two hard-boiled eggs, or a small salad topped with 2-3 ounces of your choice of protein.
Make a Balanced Plate
Don't deny yourself of the foods you really love. Fill your plate with a good mix of foods for a well-rounded meal. Fill 1/3 of your plate with lean protein such as roasted turkey or chicken, or a lean cut of ham. The rest of your plate should be filled with roasted vegetables and whole grains. Take only small portions of high-fat foods like sweet potato casserole or stuffing. You will still be able to satisfy your cravings without overdoing it.
If you have a second or third helping at the table, you won't have any room in your stomach for dessert. Eat it anyway, and then top it off with a cup or two of coffee and you spell disaster for the rest of the evening. Yes, the tryptophan in turkey is going to make you tired and ready to put your feet up and watch the Macy's Day parade, but if you feel like you could get sick, it's your body telling you that you way over did it.
Alcoholic beverages are loaded with empty calories, and they add up VERY quickly! Many people would rather save those calories for a slice of pumpkin pie with real whipped cream. Limit yourself to one drink per day, preferable before or after your meal, not with it. If you are needing something flavored, try making your own fruit or herb flavored water.
Exercise Every Day
It can be easy to push exercise aside when you are busy with holiday tasks. Soon your metabolism may slow down in response to your body's suddenly more sedentary lifestyle which equals weight gain. Aim for 30 min of daily exercise, sneaking in extra by parking further away at the grocery store or shopping mall, or taking the stairs instead of the escalator. Don't push off exercise into a New Years Resolution. Inactivity will only mean you will have to work harder to shed the unwanted pounds you packed on during the Holiday season.
Lastly, don't forget to drink some water! Drinking a large glass of water 1/2 hour before you eat helps prime your digestive system and helps to fill you up.
Weight gain my be another part of the Holiday season for most men and women, but it doesn't have to be! If you are concerned about creating your winter body, stop the pattern of weight gain this season by making smart choices now and through the rest of the season.