It happens every year: The holidays roll around with all the dinners and treats, and despite good intentions all dietary caution goes out of the window. But not this year! Join me in this endeavor not to gain a single pound this time around – without sacrificing the pleasure that comes from eating great food!
1. Eat breakfast! Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers. That’s because a morning meal, especially one that includes lean protein and whole grains, makes you feel full for a long time. And breakfast calories tend to come from quality food, which is not something easily said about office treats and cafeteria lunches. It will be a lot easier to take only one of the cookies that get passed around at work if you’ve had breakfast. You won’t be starving at lunch, so it won’t be hard to have just a salad if you know that a big meal is waiting for you at dinner. Yes, you’re eating more calories in the morning, but you’ll more than make up for that by eating fewer throughout the day.
2. Pack snacks like a piece of fruit, carrots and hummus or some whole grain pretzels with mustard. That way, if hunger strikes, you’ll have a better choice than the soggy cake someone brought in from last night’s party.
3. Portion size, portion size, portion size. Many holiday favorites just aren’t the same without the fat and sugar. That doesn’t mean that you have to do without that onion dip or rum cake. Just don’t eat a lot of it. Repeat after me: I will control my portion size!
4. The bottom line is: In order to maintain your weight, what goes in must come out. So you either need to adjust your regular diet to accommodate extra snacks. Or you have to increase your output = physical activity. The choice is yours!
5. Picking up point number four: Get some exercise! Not only do you burn calories, you also build muscle. You increase your metabolism, which means that you can – oh joy! – eat more!
So you’re having trouble keeping up an exercise routine during these dark and rainy days? Set yourself a goal! How about the Shamrock Run in March? Or if you’re motivated by getting out there with others, check out the weeknight rambles at http://www.mazamas.org/your/adventure/starts-here/C83/.
If you follow just these five rules, you’re in good shape to make it through this year’s holiday season without adding pounds!