Well here we are, on the precipice of the official start to the Holidays, despite what Target and Wal-Mart have led us to believe since late August. “They” are here. Thanksgiving for Americans and Hanukkah for my Jewish friends, melded this year into a hybrid Thanksgivukkah . Meanwhile, Christmas is just four weeks away. Ooh, wait! There are parties in between!
This is the time of year when we work ourselves up into a sweat without setting foot in a gym. The “glow” is a nervous reaction to the thought of eating and drinking ourselves up two sizes. Mentally, the gate opens, the horse bolts and it sure as heck doesn’t look back. For those who are still struggling with summer holiday weight gain, the spiral continues. And then there’s the stress of it all: shopping for the right gifts; the gatherings; the family members we’d rather not see; the office party; the guy from three cubicles over who always asks you to dance too many times; running to the bathroom to avoid slow dancing with said would-be suitor; the potential for family disputes; pretending to like Aunt Beatrice’s tougher-than-cardboard pecan pie.
It’s all too much. So this year, my Holiday gift to you is 30 or more tips on how to stay slim and stress free for the next month or so. I’ll be delivering two or three tips per day over the next couple of weeks so you can sail through the season with grace, poise and confidence. Let’s get started.
Holiday Survival Tip #1: Eat Before You Go
Er, Jayne, I’m going to a party and there’s going to be food so why would I eat beforehand?
Showing up ravenous will have you rushing up the middle to score a touchdown at the buffet table. Nothing will be out-of-bounds. Time-out! Let’s think about this. If you have lunch at noon or 1 PM, it’s unreasonable to expect to last through cocktail hour until dinner. A snack with fiber, fat and protein will tide you over and keep your brain on track so you can make smart decisions about what to eat once you’re at the event. Good snack choices would be hummus with vegetable crudités, lean protein with a green salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, or a cup of bean or lentil soup.
Holiday Survival Tip #2: Go In With A Plan.
Whether you’re heading to a party or a sit-down meal, take a moment to confer with your inner Norman Schwarzkopf. This could be Operation DESSERT Storm. You need a battle plan. There are going to be ambushes and saboteurs everywhere. What’s your intention? Are you going to skip the champagne and enjoy a small serving of dessert instead? Are you going to pile your plate with salad and veggies before sampling the “other” stuff? Are you going to get on the dance floor or pull up a chair to the buffet table?
Formulate your plan. Write it on a Post-it and stick it on your bathroom mirror. Repeat your intention as you apply your make-up (okay, Guys, you can do this while you shave). Stick to your strategy and reward yourself with a soak in the tub or a chick-flick (or World War II movie) when you get home. You will have won the battle and you’ll be on your way to winning the war.