Trimming for the Holidays
By B e v v Beirl
What are we thinking? Where is it written that the last 37 days of the year we have to gorge ourselves, over drink, stress to the point of a break down, or shop ‘till we drop? Where is it written that we have to gain 4-7 holiday pounds? Nowhere!!! So stop it. It’s as easy as that. Make the decision today that your weight will be the same on New Year’s Day as it is on Thanksgiving morning. Consider this: as we trim our houses, offices and yards for the holidays—let’s trim our calories and diet guilt too.
The BABM holiday strategy is to plan ahead. We can enjoy our traditional holiday foods, in moderation, while maintaining our health and weight. Now, more than any other time of the year, we must spread our food/calorie intake through out the day and squeeze in an a few extra exercise sessions.
Grab a piece of paper and pencil. We are about to begin our holiday plan of action.
First, make a list of your favorite holiday foods or treats. There are Aunt Ruth’s homemade dinner rolls and Aunt Mary’s pumpkin pie. And what would the holidays be without Mom’s traditional Peanut Blossom cookies? My guess is that most of our favorite holidays goodies are very high in the dreaded “6 whites” (sugar, white flour, white rice, potatoes, pasta and bananas).
Second, carefully look at the opportunities you will have to get in a brisk walk, tennis match, bicycle ride or work out at the gym. With a red pen, schedule those work out times right now. STOP READING. DO IT NOW!!!
Hey, I told you to do it NOW. Schedule your physical activities in red pen between November 25th – and January 1st 2010, RIGHT NOW. This may well be the very thing that gets you through the holidays with minimal stress, zero weight gain, plenty of energy and your sanity.
And now for the BABM Holiday Strategy:
- Step on the scale Thanksgiving morning and write your weight on the bathroom mirror. Draw two lines under it for the Christmas morning and New Year’s Day weight. Tell yourself all three numbers WILL be the same.
- Have a serving of protein, (hard boiled egg, 2 deviled eggs, small piece of baked or broiled chicken breast, or lean hamburger patty) before going to a party or holiday dinner. Don’t arrive hungry.
- Forgo the pretzels, chips, dips and canapés. Spend your empty calories on the special treat you really want.
- Position yourself away from the food table, in fact, keep your back to it.
- Visit the buffet table after you have had one glass of sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime.
- Choose a small cocktail plate and make a design on your plate with the most colorful food on the buffet table. (Colorful foods are usually the high fiber, complex carbohydrates)
- Before eating anything, make a fist, glance at it and remember that your stomach is the size of your fist. Keep portions small. Choose the high protein foods over the high sugar or starch foods
- Wear form fitting attire or a belt with the goal of feeling as comfortable leaving the party or dinner as when you arrived.
- Focus on socializing, rather than on eating and drinking. Make it a point to learn something new about everyone you visit with or plan to meet 3 – 4 new people.
- While socializing, share your BABM Holiday strategy for zero holiday weight gain!!!
- Plan your alcohol consumption (1 or 2 glasses of wine or mixed drinks) and have sparkling water in between.
- Plan ahead to follow your evening party or dinner with a 30 – 40 minute brisk walk the next morning.
If you balance your consumed and expended calories the last 37 days of the year, you can enjoy one of Aunt Ruth’s home made rolls, one piece of Aunt Mary’s pumpkin pie and a couple of Mom’s Peanut Blossom cookies without guilt and weight gain. By planning ahead, there will be no need for your annual resolution of getting back in shape.
Happy Healthy Holidays
About the Author
Besides being the founder and CEO of BABM, Bevv spent several years training and acquiring certifications in nutrition and exercise and launched the wellness program (at the time called On Target) at Morton Plant Hospital in the late 80s. During her directorship of the wellness program, Bevv taught restaurant survival, recipe modification and behavior modification.