Labor Day, Christmas, and St. Patty’s Day… even just summer itself – they’re all fun holidays, but sometimes they aren’t so good for our waistlines. For some holiday-goers, resisting the temptation to overindulge proves too difficult to resist, leaving them a few (maybe more) pounds heavier when it’s all said and done.
Listen up! Great tips to combat the bulge when you want to party like a rockstar:
- Have a skip day
- Everybody should have a skip day. When we say “skip” we’re talking about skipping the party punch altogether. That’s right! For the Christmas season, this is extremely important because let’s face it, it lasts for weeks on end. Committing to skip days (we recommend as many as possible) will increase the likelihood that you can stay on track and manage your late-night munchies easier. During a shorter holiday, such as Labor Day, consider having just one skip day. You can use this time to catch up on whatever it is you need to do or spend time on a favorite pastime.
- Start the day off right
- If you want to lose weight, the research shows you should never skip breakfast but there is an important side note to this: don’t eat sugary, fast-digesting carbs in the morning. They get digested and released into the bloodstream quickly, leaving you with a dip in blood sugar and energy later on. Foods such as donuts, cereals, juice, and white bread, and even certain fruits like bananas and grapes are best avoided until later in the day.
- Better options for keeping your blood sugar more stable and hence, your cravings for fatty, sugary foods at bay later on include high-quality protein like scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, grass-fed bacon, frittatas, omelets, even plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. If you do like carbs for breakfast opt for the complex ones like whole grain bread, shredded wheat, or oatmeal. These high-protein/low-carb and complex carb foods help keep your hunger hormones in check so you can stay on track and make it until lunch without grabbing a soda and candy bar from the nearest convenience store.
- Plan ahead
- Planning a morning-after strategy is imperative if you want to avoid packing on the pounds from partying. As we mentioned in Tip # 2, you want to plan to have a healthy breakfast the morning after your festive activities, yet, sometimes you may not have made it back home. Your will-power likely will not be at its peak when you wake up, particularly if you stayed up half the night, so you need to be prepared for that nagging voice that says, “Just grab something in the drive-thru.”
- The solution is to put a high-protein breakfast bar in your car or jacket pocket so that you can take the edge off during the drive home. Also, water is great for counter-acting the dehydrating effects of alcohol and squelching cravings, so bring some along with you, too. Once back to your lair, it takes literally five minutes to cook some eggs. You’d probably be in the drive-thru longer!
- Squeeze in a quick workout
- You don’t have to do a full workout to get results. During a holiday when you know you’re going to over indulge, just commit to moving whenever you have the time. Plan a quick workout routine you can do anywhere and ideally in just 15 minutes. After all, you just never know where you’ll wake up in the morning, right? Ok, so maybe that sounds like you, maybe not. Regardless, it’s safe to say you’ll be really tempted to skip working out altogether if you’ve had a little too much of the sauce, and you may wake up late because of it. So, just prepare for that. Get a leg ahead in the game.
- Just do it
- Maybe it’s a cliché but it’s a tried and true slogan that works. If you just do whatever it is you need to do there’s no room for excuses or procrastination. Just start with 15 minutes and chances are, you’ll feel so good you won’t want to stop. Find what gets you motivated and revved up to workout. Maybe it’s putting on your earbuds and listing to some beats, maybe it’s looking at that poster over your bed of your favorite Victoria’s Secret model. There are many things that can get us feeling more motivated to get up and get working out.
- Bonus Tip: Fix your mixers
- A lot of times it’s not just the alcohol itself your drinking that’s packing on the pounds, it’s the mixers. Not all mixers are created alike. Some may have twice or more of the calories and sugar between the same types of drink mixes. Opt for brands that say low-calorie, low-carb, or even consider making your own with a recipe online. Another tip, if you like to mix sodas with your drink, switch to a diet option or just have it on the rocks or with some water or club soda.
- Depending on the serving size, you’ll save roughly 150 calories easily with just one or two drinks. Sugary mixers are just no-goes if you want to say trim because they make your blood sugar spike and fall, signaling the body to store fat. If you can fix your mixers, you’ve won half the battle when it comes to partying like a rockstar and staying trim.