Roberta Rules – no packing of pounds over the holidays

by Friday, December 18, 2009

I am the first to admit I love the holiday season. I look forward to it and I’m sad to see it go each year. I am drawn to holiday shopping, sightseeing and of course, eating. Not only Thanksgiving or Christmas Day eating, it’s the entire season in general.  The three months before year’s end are filled with rich recipes and smothering tastes that promise to lift your spirits and leave the wholesome taste of happiness in your mouth. From your local Starbucks to the five-star steakhouse, every food seems to get a little heavier around the “season.”

In the past I recall thinking the holidays were the only time that it was OK to overeat and overindulge (in everything). Not only was I wrong but I have also suffered the consequences. How sad is it to not be able to fit a dress you overindulged on pricewise because you overindulged foodwise?

Here is an easy list of (not so obvious) tips I’ve compiled to keep you from having to drop newly added pounds before you watch the ball drop…

Be real – This is maybe the most useful bit of information I’ve found. The average American gains at least three pounds from Halloween to New Year’s. That said, how about focusing on maintaining as opposed to losing weight for the season?

Drink Lightly – Around the holidays there is always some beverage that has some kind of seasonal tweak, whether its spiced Egg Nog or a pomegranate margarita. More than likely the little extra something adds sugar and calories to these festive drinks. take it easy, maybe stick to Tonic with lime if eating as well. Or four ounces of a red wine should keep the calories down. Afterall .. who wants to be the holiday party drunk? (we’ve all seen it!)

Don’t come hungry – Let’s be real — the holiday season brings on invites to events to things you forgot you ever knew about. From fundraisers to office parties, don’t expect to get your fill there. Chances are the food will be high in fat and sugar and coming hungry will force you to overindulge. Nine out of 10 will overeat if they skip meals, so eat lightly beforehand. This leads me to the next tip.

Bring a healthy dish – If you’re invited to a dinner party or office gathering that constitutes some kind of offering to the fellow masses, bring something healthy. And of course, according to me healthy can also mean quick. Pick up a festive fruit or vegetable tray or simply spice up some fat-free applesauce.

Dress to form – This may be my favorite tip of all time. Wearing form-fitting clothing, or things that fit perfectly, as opposed to loose-fitting clothing will cause you to be aware of your eating. No one wants a bulge, or to appear larger than they are.

Size always matters – In this case, in buffet situations grab the smallest plate. There are usually smaller plates by the appetizers and desserts; use those for your main meal as well.

Plan – Plan your parties and events.  If you have more than one or two in a day, limit eating and drinking accordingly.

Lastly, don’t panic – One day of overeating isn’t going to bloat you into full cow state. What really matters is the amount and types of food eaten over time. Stay aware and enjoy.

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