It is that time of year again: the Christmas trees are going up, the snow is falling down and everyone is in the mood for some holiday cheer. What goes along hand in hand with holiday cheer? Holiday parties. What goes hand in hand with holiday parties? Food and drink, and LOTS of it! Take your usual eating schedule and times it by 10 because at every good holiday party, the drinks are flowing, the apps are cooking and the next morning you wake up feeling 10 pounds heavier. But ‘tis the season, right? That is right, but then Christmas is over and there is nothing to look forward to, except chipping the ice off your windshield and sitting in rush hour traffic during a snowfall when all of a sudden everyone forgets how to drive. That is why many of us start to think about planning a little winter getaway somewhere HOT as soon as the seasons start to turn! We can almost taste the pina colada on our lips as we sit in traffic, it's what gets us through: that one week (or more, if you are lucky!) of sun, sand, beach, bikinis! I’m getting excited just thinking of it!
SO, as you down your 2nd glass of wine and your 6th mini quiche of the night you stop in horror and think: I need to be seen in a bikini in HOW many weeks????
If you are like me, your life is a constant battle between “no thank you, one piece of pie is all I want” and “treat. yo. self.” I have a very hard time saying no to food that is staring me in the face and the next morning feeling the remorse after thinking how many cupcakes I downed while no one was looking. The question is, how can you enjoy the holidays while knowing you need to be beach ready the next month?
Lets be clear- I’m no doctor however I feel as though I can relate to any girl who has no will power but still wants to look good in a bikini. I am famous for my large appetite and going for seconds, thirds and fourths (yes, I said fourths, don’t judge me! The cake pops looked so small, they barely count- right?) After years of trial and error, I think I have finally come up with a plan to enjoy the holidays while still being beach ready for January! No, I don't torture myself with 6am personal trainer appointments OR motivational Pinterest boards with starving girls posing at the gym half naked. (Seriously though, get real no one wears that much makeup to the gym unless they are trying to pick up) How you ask? Let me explain...
1. Work out when you don't mean to
Don't have a gym membership? Don't want a gym membership? That's cool- me neither. There are things you can do through out the day that will help you burn calories even when you don't realize it. The simple things like walking somewhere you might usually take a cab to, parking a bit further away from the door or power walking with your shopping bags through the mall (now that one works as cardio AND weight lifting! See what I did there!) Even when we are standing we are burning more calories then when we are sitting down. Instead of taking the escalator, take the stairs or maybe during commercial of your evening TV program, drop down and do a few planks. These tips are obviously not going to transform your body into a Victoria’s Secret super model, but they may help maintain your weight without you realizing it. You just might be able to go for the second scoop of ice cream at the work Christmas potluck because you have been so good!
2. If you diet or work out, do it with a friend
Let's be serious, working out or eating well is much easier to do when you have a friend to do it with. I know my boyfriend probably couldn't care less that I ate a garden salad for lunch, but your equally motivated girlfriend will give you a high five and then tell you about HER lunch- and you WILL care to hear about her avocado and chicken sandwich (and then you will continue to ask for the recipe) Also when you do it with a friend you feel worse if you cheat or bail on a post work workout. You don't want to be the weak one, do you?
3. Eat only one piece - don't go for seconds or thirds
I would be 100% guilty of the thirds. I love love looove food- especially food that contains whipped cream. It is hard to stop at one piece. What is a holiday party without cake, wine, cookies and apps? Don't torture yourself, because be honest it takes a mighty strong person to say no to all the above- just eat in moderation. Instead of eating 2 pieces of cake and a handful of cake pops, maybe just have one piece. (Even though the cake pops are small and like how could they really even count anyways? Okay maybe eat one of those too! You deserve it!). Just because food is in front of you, you don't need to eat as much as you possibly can to be satisfied. Fill one plate (don't forget your fruit and veggies!) This time of year there is so much temptation, but be strong! The beach is calling your name.
4. During the week eat well and have your cheat days on the weekend
So you ate like 4 pieces of cake... and like 3 hamburgers... and then drank MAYBE 2 bottles of wine. You’re not a bad person! We all have our rough nights and maybe I'm just being optimistic but one bad night doesn't mean you are totally off the wagon. Tomorrow is a new day; you can redeem yourself. During the holiday season I like to eat as well as I can Sunday- Thursday and then let the wine and cake fairy visit Fridays and Saturdays. I know this sounds ridiculous but the odds are in your favor. If you can resist the temptations 5 days of the week and then let your hair down 2 nights you’re laughing! And don't forget the rule - if it looks better then it tastes, the calories don't count. (That's how it works, right?)
5. Substitute soft drinks with water and coffee with green tea.
I'm not one for juices and pops to begin with so I usually drink mostly water, but you Pepsi lovers I'm looking at you! Did you know that one bottle of pepsi contains 250 calories- and water has none. Not only does water quench your thirst but it promotes weight loss, flushes out toxins and increases energy to name a few. I know they say to drink 8 glasses a day- I mean, that could get a little excessive (especially if you don’t have unlimited break time a work to run to the bathroom like every 25 minutes!) BUT drinking as much of it as you can, and substituting it for other sugary drinks will DEFINETLY help make a difference. As for coffee: I am a coffee-oholic for SURE, but whenever I am on a heath kick, I try to switch it up to green tea. Green tea helps kick start your metabolism at the same time as giving you that caffeine you most definitely need in the morning! (And afternoon… AND on your evening commute) Weight loss aside, green tea also helps strengthen your immune system, reduce stress and protect your bones and teeth! If you aren’t into green teas, there are other types of teas such as oolong teas and pu erh teas with numerous health benefits. One of my favorite places to get tea is Davids Tea and I always get “The Skinny” oolong.
So, now you can have your cake and eat it too! ( You can only have ONE slice though, as per pervious instruction) Don't let the thought of your winter getaway insta-pics ruin the holidays for you- you CAN have it all!