The holidays are upon us, bringing with them children singing meaningless Christmas carols and a veritable excuse to eat anything we can shove in our overzealous mouths. “OK Grandma” we say. “I’ll have another glass of eggnog – after all, it’s only 3 more weeks till Christmas”. Now I personally don’t remember the last time I roasted chestnuts upon a Yule log, took a sleigh to Grandma’s house, or went A-wassailing. And the last time I “decked the hall”; I wasn’t invited back for 18 months.
But “tradition” seems to center around who can gorge themselves more on plates laden with every type of food imaginable. As we pass out on the couch after eating roughly our bodyweight in sliced ham, we then complain: “it’s all the tryptophan in the turkey that’s making me sleepy. Definitely not the 5.8lbs of cinnamon rolls.” This is enough to derail even the most focused and nutritionally conscious individual, but before you go and throw out your dreams of a six pack during your spring break trip to the beaches of Florida in favor of ‘decembulk’ and visions of sweatpants dancing through your head, try these 10 super easy tips to keep yourself svelte and classy under the mistletoe this year.
10. Drink! Have a few big glasses of water before attending a gathering where massive quantities of food will be present. This decreases the amount of hunger you’ll feel, and some of the cravings that hit when presented with 127 different finger foods.
9. Eat! Eat a protein rich food before a party or event. This causes you to stay satiated, and enables you to make hard choices, like the choice between cheesecake or ice-cream and cheesecake AND ice-cream.
8. Eat Everything! Try the 7 kinds of bean dip, that’s fine, but make sure each portion is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. This goes a long way, and is especially helpful in limiting the amount of carrot and beet Jell-O you have to eat after mistaking it for real food.
7. Order of Operations. Start with the veggies, and then move to the protein, then to the carbs: breads, puddings, and sweets. Ideally, filling up on meats and veggies would limit carb intake, and limiting carb intake would ideally keep you from falling asleep on Great Aunt Martha’s actual Civil War blanket, which would ideally keep you from spending 300 dollars getting flees removed over Memorial Day Weekend, while your friends are out on your houseboat.
6. Choose Your Own Adventure. For a chiseled physique, eating big and getting sauced don’t mix. If you want to stay lean this year, you have to choose between secretly crushing fistfuls of pumpkin spice cookies and locking yourself in the bathroom with three bottles of Carlo Rossi, a la Uncle Randy, Christmas 2011. Or neither. Neither is also an option. Stop drinking alcohol an hour before the food comes out, and wait an hour before drinking again. Click here for a more detailed look at how to drink without getting fat.
5: No Soup for You!
We all know that moms and grandmas are the best and love to set you up with leftovers for the rest of the year. But to avoid the bad choices that come with stress and being busy, avoid taking home the sugary snacks, cookies and cakes. If you don’t have it, you can’t eat it.
4: Fish Delish.
Take more fish oil by capsule or by oil By bumping Omega-3 consumption, you can help keep your body from becoming inflamed from processed foods, and keep your Omega 3/6/9 ratios in check. This results in increased fat burning.
3: Dentist’s Favorite.
Brush your teeth after a meal. Brushing the teeth is a sign of finality, and will keep you from snacking more. Plus the irresistible minty freshness will make you a hit with the opposite gender in a way that crumbs in your beard and a mouf filled with cornbread never could.
2: Banana Split.
Just because it’s only legal to serve food in Ohio that comes in sizes “platter”, “barn door”, and “Hagrid”, doesn’t mean that you’re stuck playing by their rules Enlist one person to split food with you, or you know…take half a portion…
And the #1 Tip… Pre Burn.
Exercise on the day of the party or food themed holiday. Get an intense full body workout to ensure that the calories you eat later will be more likely to go toward fueling the muscles, and not just building the gut. Most gyms are closed on major holidays, so make sure you have an alternative home workout ready to go. This is a great way to spend some family time without arguing over what to watch on TV. This is the best possible way to keep yourself feeling good, and dare I say justify a bit of overeating at night.
Make sure you do a full body workout to burn as many calories as possible, then end with a finisher of whatever muscle group you’d like to see grow. Fuel up with something light afterward, a protein shake or meal replacement is a perfect option, and wait for the gains to begin. Don’t have a workout program? Try this holiday fat burning, muscle building treat. A present from me to you. anced food intake is always going to be a better choice than any juice fast. We also recommend leaning on a balanced weight loss support supplement such as Zilis Ultra Burn.
“Roast Duck”A1. Suspension Trainer Bulgarian Split Squat x 10 each leg
A2. Suspension Trainer Atomic Pushup x 15 Repeat x 4 Rest 60 seconds after A2.
B1. Suspension Trainer Quad Extension x 15
B2. Suspension Trainer Row x 15
B3. Jump Squat x 15 Repeat x 3No rest between moves, rest 60 seconds when finished with B3
C1. Suspension Trainer Single Leg Squat x 10 each
C2. Suspension Trainer Fallout x 25
C3. Jog out 60 seconds – Sprint back. Repeat x 3-5No rest between moves, rest 60 seconds when finished with sprint.Challenge yourself and do as many sets as necessary!
D1 Duck Walk x 25 feet forwards and 25 feet backwards Get into a low squat position and ‘walk’ 25 feet, then without turning around ‘walk’ 25 feet backwards. Do these as many times in 5 minutes as you can.
Shannon Clark holds a degree in exercise science and sport performance from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Her love for physical activity began with her time as a competitive figure skater and she has since been working in the health and fitness field for over 10 years.
When she’s not writing about health, wellness, or fitness, she loves working as a personal trainer, baking up the latest high-protein desserts, and spending time with a good book or movie.