The most fattening days of the year are upon us. A homentachen cookie here, an eggnog there and by the end of the week you could be letting out your belt a notch or two.
Here are 14 useful tips to help you maintain your weight this week – and all through the high risk weight gain season. (And don’t forget the rest of this week’s Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge, here.)
1: Put some Go! Go! Go! in your Ho! Ho! Ho! by asking for gifts that will get you in shape. Though this may not be the year you get the $2000.00 treadmill, an $80 stepping bench, a $40 set of dumbbells or $20 jump rope can keep you in shape for years to come. Or how about 100 days of AcaciaTV for FREE?
2:With the holidays here you may find it harder to squeeze in a workout. An oldie but goodie trick: schedule an appointment to exercise and then keep it just as you would any important obligation.
3: If you’re invited to someone’s house for a holiday meal, offer to contribute a dish, then make something low calorie and tasty. Be sure to make plenty. Delicious, low calorie foods are usually very popular.
4: Are lingering leftovers your downfall? Stock up on brightly-colored plastic containers. Prepare a doggy bag for each guest so everyone leaves with a small sample of the festivities and your diet isn’t undone.
5: When making stuffing, reduce calories by 80 percent by baking it in a non-stick pan instead of in the bird.
6: During all those endless hours of football, break a sweat on the sidelines. During commercial breaks, try something from our quick and effective playlist.
7: Use procrastination to side step a pushy hostess. When offered appetizers, say you’re saving room for dinner. When offered seconds, say you’re saving room for dessert. When offered dessert, say you’re so full you couldn’t possibly.
8: After a party or meal, congratulate yourself on the parts that went well, and forgive yourself for the parts that didn’t. Don’t beat yourself up over what you can’t undo.
9: Never skip a meal to “save up calories.” Always eat a healthy breakfast and lunch and, if you’re attending a late evening function, have a snack beforehand.
10: Before you hit the buffet table, survey the offerings. We’re not suggesting you carry around a measuring cup, but it’s good to have a pre-game plan.
11: Create some new “inedible” traditions: storytelling, a family walk, or annual treasure hunt. It’ll bring your family closer together and you’ll be less focused on food.
12: Make a grand entrance to cocktail style parties a few hours after things get rolling. You’ll save hundreds of calories in the form of alcoholic drinks and fattening hors d’ oeuvres. There’s a good chance that at least some of the goodies will run out before you arrive.
13: With cake it’s all in the name. At 365 calories a slice, frosted Devil’s food cake is hell for your diet. Marble cake (270 calories) will weigh you down like bricks. Pound cake even sans icing packs a scale-tipping 200 calories per sliver. Your best bet is unadorned Angel Food cake at 140 calories per heavenly slice.
14: Some painless ways to shed nearly 550 calories from your diet: lose 250 calories by dipping your fork into a separate dish of dressing before you spear each mouthful of salad. Use half the usual amount of gravy for a savings of 70 calories. And by substituting hot spiced cider (at 116 calories per cup) for unspiked eggnog (342 calories per cup), you’ll save 226 calories.