23 November 2011

How to Indulge (In a Healthy Way) This Holiday Season

Running With Mascara Guest Post

Hey guys, fancy seeing you again! I hope all your Thanksgiving cooking preparations are coming together smoothly, and I hope I was able to give you a few last minute ideas if you needed inspiration.

Running With Mascara asked me if I was interested in guest blogging for them. In exchange, they created a guest post for my blog! Our topic of interest is how to indulge without breaking the bank during the holidays. You can check out my article on their blog. For now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the post.

How to Indulge (In a Healthy Way) This Holiday Season
By Emilie Yount

It’s inevitable; when family and friends are back in town, whether it’s from school, the armed forces or after a move to a new city, the urge to go out and party hardy is a very real dilemma. Whether you’ve just started a new diet or exercise regimen or just don’t want to pile on any extra weight around the middle this holiday season, you have some decisions to make. There are more than a few ways to avoid weight gain from holiday food and those nights out drinking with friends:

1. Know Your Limits

The last thing you want your ‘back in town’ friends to remember from the Christmas or New Year’s party is you falling face-first into the bar floor after one too many. Letting loose is natural around the holidays; most people have a few days (or a week, if you’re lucky!) off of work and it’s natural to want to unwind and enjoy yourself. Avoid weight gain and general embarrassment by switching off between your alcoholic drink of choice and a glass of water or sparkling water. That will also help you avoid that soul-crushing hangover the next morning. Stick with Amstel Light or vodka with soda water to curb your carb intake. Go ahead and get down to some music by Ke$ha while sipping- we won’t judge! ;) That will also help burn off some of the calories you’ve been imbibing.

2. Skip That Extra-Large Coffee Beverage

Most people enjoy a coffee treat now and then, whether it comes in the form of a hot chocolate, vanilla latte, smoothie or thick shake. The only thing we don't like is when we end up eating our weight in calories that we don't need to be consuming. There are plenty of guiltless beverages you can buy at the mall while doing your holiday shopping, so seek out smaller sizes that you can add soy milk to instead of getting the standard 10 pumps of sugar and heavy cream put into your travel mug!

3. Chocolate Isn’t Off Limits

I would never say it’s okay to eat two chocolate bars a day, but a bit of dark chocolate is actually good for you - in moderation, of course! Chocolate contains the same antioxidants found in bananas, strawberries and spinach. Try this recipe for Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!

4. Pre-Veg

No, not ‘pre-drink’. Save that for the college freshmen. ‘Pre-veg’ by enjoying some veggies with hummus and whole wheat pitas before you hit the holiday party circuit. This will keep your paws off the chicken wings, spinach artichoke dip and other super-appealing-but-oh-so-fattening appetizers. I’ve found that the best way to enjoy some veggies with the same flavor of Buffalo wings is to dip carrots and celery into low-fat blue cheese dressing (just a little!) with a touch of hot sauce. Check out the ways you can flavor boost and calorie reduce here!

Enjoying the holidays is key. It’s important to unwind and relax before you head back to work after the November and December holiday celebrations. Follow these simple tips so that you will still be able to enjoy yourself in a smart way. Planning on spring vacation? Sign up at the gym or find a great new workout DVD NOW. Waiting until after the New Year never did anyone any favors! Get into the habit during the season so that you aren’t forced to work through a half-hearted resolution come January 1st. Believe me, I know!

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