Just about everyone I know dreads putting on a few pounds during the holidays. And let's face it--it's probably going to happen. There are countless once-a-year treats to be had, and I for one think you should have them. Then again, at our house, butter is basically its own food group during the months of November and December, so I may be biased. I also think it's too ambitious for anyone to try to lose weight during the holidays. Instead, I'm all about damage control for weight management these next two months. And to do it, I employ a simple mindset on how I eat.
I'm not a dieter in a traditional sense and never have been. But that's not to say I don't watch what I eat because I do. I just don't restrict myself on a daily basis. Instead, I think of my overall eating habits in blocks of days: Mon & Tue; Wed & Thur; Fri, Sat, & Sun. And I spread the good, the bad, and the downright ugly amongst these blocks of time. If I eat horribly over a weekend (I cannot be let loose on party dip--it's really a problem), I try to redeem my diet over other days. I actually do this throughout the year but it's especially helpful during the holidays.
Let's talk specifics. Most of the upcoming holiday parties will fall during the latter part of the week. So I'll front load the veggies and fiber and all things healthful earlier in the week. This goes for my family, too. Because then I won't have a battle on my hands when the older boys are too excited at the party or family dinner to sit and eat like they usually do and only have eyes for the dessert spread. Instead, I'll remember the midweek spinach fest and hardly blink when they belly up to that buffet o'treats and help themselves to, say, a third serving of pie. In fact, they're probably just falling in line behind me--mmmm, pie. And it's all good because come Monday, we'll crave something green and from the earth and I'll happily oblige.
This game plan used to work on its own. And then my aging metabolism became a factor--grrr. Now I also up my cardio as much as possible and here's what has helped on that front:
A few months ago, my friends turned me onto this super affordable workout video by Jillian Michaels. It combines cardio and strength training but only takes 20 minutes. Seriously. And I dare say that every single one of us has 20 minutes a day (or at least every other day) to squeeze in a workout, right? Especially when the commute is just to your TV and not your gym. And in case you're wondering, it's no walk in the park. I usually turn up my nose at workout videos, truth be told, because I'm a part-time fitness instructor going on my 14th year and my class motto is "hate me now, love me and your thighs later." But this video challenges me. And it's just the little extra I need to balance the excess in calories I cannot wait to consume. Because as much as I love going to the gym (no sarcasm there. I really do love to workout), I'm not going to go any more frequently during the holidays.
Here's to you, your forthcoming smorgasbord, and jeans that do not bind.
For more tips, be sure to check out the posts over at We Are THAT Family's works for me Wednesday.