Sponsored By: Before and After Weight Loss Clinics
Let’s face it – we have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. We love the parties, the once-a-year baked goods and Grandma’s cornbread stuffing. And we hate how we feel after an evening of eating (and drinking) a little too much during the holiday season.
But we don’t have to dread this time of year or worry about whether our pants will fit come January. All it takes is approaching the season with a mindset of success rather than failure.
Lee McCaskill, owner of Before and After Weight Loss Clinics and founder of the Belly Buster Diet, offers nine ways to give your holiday a healthy makeover.
1. Concentrate on what you can eat this time of year, not what you can’t.
The fall season offers up all sorts of delicious and healthy options.
Pumpkin can be used in recipes as a substitution for oil and is very low in carbs. Or make a baked apple instead of apple pie. Chop a whole unpeeled orange in the food processor with a bag of fresh cranberries and a few nuts for a delicious cranberry relish that has two-thirds the carbs of canned jellied cranberry sauce.
2. Take advantage of the fall weather.
The cooler temperatures are a refreshing break from the endless summer heat. Shake up your exercise routine and go for a walk or ride your bike. Something as simple as walking briskly, swimming or biking for just 20 minutes three times per week will boost your metabolism enough that you lose an extra pound each week.
3. Stay hydrated.
To lose weight, you need to flush out the melted fat, so that means drinking plenty of water. Keep a bottle of water on your desk for easy access or add some cucumber or berries for flavor. On cool fall nights, mix it up with spiced or green tea.
4. Traditional holiday foods don’t have to be fattening ones.
Turkey, green beans and pumpkin are not fattening foods. The problem is in how they are prepared.
So find recipes that offer healthy substitutions and scale back on things like salt, butter and bacon fat. Great resources are Better Recipes, Hungry Girl and McCaskill’s Belly Buster Recipe Blog.
5. Don’t approach the season as a six-week celebration.
Give yourself permission to indulge a little on two or three special days – Thanksgiving or a family holiday party, for example. Treat the rest of the time as you would any other day of the year and eat healthy.
6. Plan ahead for parties.
Before the office parties and family get-togethers, set aside a time to mentally focus on how you’d like to handle the occasion. If you can envision yourself making smart choices, you’re more likely to behave that way at the event itself.
Plan to drink plenty of water while you’re at the party. If you’re consuming alcohol, drink a glass of water between each beer, glass of wine or cocktail. This will help flush the alcohol from your system and it will keep you feeling full so you don’t overeat.
Have an eating strategy so you can enjoy the foods you really want and don’t fill up on wasted calories. Stock your plate first with protein, such as cheese, shrimp cocktail, crab dip or meat roll-ups before you consume alcohol or sweets. Protein helps stabilize your blood sugar and helps carbs and fruit sugars break down more slowly.
7. Don’t stock the shelves with sweets.
This time of year the store shelves are filled with candies, cookies and holiday treats. Resist the temptation to buy “just one” box or bag “for the kids.” If it’s in the pantry, you’re likely to indulge. If it’s not around, you don’t have to worry about being tempted.
8. If you overindulge, don’t beat yourself up.
One slip isn’t the end of the world. Too often people mess up and just throw in the towel. They make poor food choices for the rest of the day or even give up, vowing to start fresh on Jan. 1. Don’t let one misstep get you discouraged. You can start fresh the next day and get back on track with your healthy eating.
9. Practice saying “no.”
If you’re really trying to stick to a healthy eating plan and lose weight, don’t let other people’s need to indulge trip you up.
Instead of just saying “no” whenever someone asks why you’re not having a fourth cookie, say, “I am stuffed! I ate a huge meal earlier.” Most people won’t take “no” for an answer, but this is a “no” most people understand, and they’ll drop it.
Remember the holiday season is about enjoying time with family and friends. It’s about the spirit of the season and a sense of togetherness. Too often, it can become all about the food and drink, but that doesn’t have to be the focal point of your celebration.
Are you serious about staying fit this holiday season? Get expert support from Before and After Weight Loss Clinics. The experts at Before and After Weight Loss have the resources and knowledge to help you achieve your weight loss goal and make healthy lifestyle changes.
To learn more about how Before and After Weight Loss Clinics can help you lose the weight and keep it off, visit BestDietSource.com, come into the Mount Pleasant location at 561 Belle Station Blvd. or call 843-972-7658.