So, to expound on this with some additional tips from Stigletics.com:
1) Eat a healthy breakfast that will stick with you - this means no simple carbs like cereals, toast, biscuits, muffins or cereal bars. some suggestions: fresh fruit and a nice omelette, or a power packed casein protein smoothie blended with almond or coconut milk and berries, or some scrambled eggs with organic turkey bacon and a grapefruit. And please don't throw out the yolks - that is where all the nutrition lies. I really like the Eggland's Best Cage-Free Eggs. This will reduce the temptation to gorge on those holiday office snacks that are sure to be lurking.
2) Keep a can of deluxe mixed nuts, your favorite low-carb protein bar, and some apples, pears, or other fruits in your desk drawer. This will give you a snack option and keep you from junking out those less than desirable holiday treats.
3) Keep the Starchy carbs low at lunch - an easy option at most restaurants is nice salad with some lean protein, and then choose a healthy vinegarette dressing. Warning: Keep the dressing to a minimum, as it is typically loaded with calories and will defeat the purpose of choosing the salad in the first place. I opt for no dressing, or I will dip the tines of the fork in the dressing and them pick up a bite of salad. The biggest mistake I see people make is pouring on every bit of dressing brought with the salad - that is a sure fire way to wreck it. Most restaurants will also substitute starch side items for some seasonal veggies or a side salad if you ask them to - that's a good choice and habit to utilize any time of the year.
So, while that gets you through the work day a little easier, what about all of those holiday parties that occur in the evenings?
1) Never go to a holiday event on a hungry stomach. Eating a healthy snack or light meal before heading to the event will reduce the desire to stuff unhealthy temptations in your mouth.
2) Make sure to keep up on your scheduled workouts! One of the best strategies to make those extra holiday party calories work for you is to exercise beforehand, which will additional calories more likely to absorb into your muscle tissue instead of making a bee line to your existing fat cells. Take advantage of the post exercise insulin response window!
3) If you are going to have a drink, do so sparingly, because as soon as you have that drink, all muscle-building and fat-loss processes in the body come to a screeching halt. And if you have that drink, make it a glass of red wine, which has proven health benefits if consumed in reasonable amounts. Beer and egg nog are two of the worst things you can drink when trying to lose bodyfat.
4) increase your fish oil consumption when you know you are going to be eating a bunch of starch and sugar. The healthy fats will slow down the rate at which the sugar enters the blood stream, buffering the insulin response. The fish oil has a added benefit of nutrient repartitioning - helping drive the excess sugars into the muscle cells instead of just the fat cells.
5) Don't deprive yourself of your favorite holiday treats; just limit them responsibly, using the following idea: Take the smallest portion you can, have a couple of small bites, chew them slowly and savor them, and then remove the plate and throw out the unfinished portion. Better to end up in the trash can than where it would end up otherwise: your stomach and thighs!
6) Know when it's time to go home: Make sure you get plenty of rest so you don't skip the next day's exercise session! That way you can burn off those extra calories you ate and drank the night before!
We would love to hear YOUR holiday tips to avoid those extra pounds! Please comment and share them with us!