You’ve heard of the “Freshman 15”? It is the typical 15 pounds that freshmen put on during their first year of college/university after being able to drink excessive amounts of booze with no parents to scold them, and living off of a strict diet of pizza and Ichiban noodles. I think the holiday season can compare to an entire freshman year of over-indulging all wrapped up into a short 30 or so days.
When December 1st hits (or maybe before) so does the weight gain. With Christmas parties for work, get-togethers with friends, kids’ Christmas concerts, New Year’s Eve, etc. there are a plethora of opportunities for a person to engorge. But I don’t think ‘an extra 15 pounds on my ass’ is at the top of anyone’s holiday wish list.
So, how do you enjoy the spirit of the holidays without making a complete glutton of yourself? Try a few of these handy tips:
1. Eat! Healthily. Though we should all try to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet all of the time, it is especially important during the holidays. Number one, with so much on the go, you need to keep your energy up. Fruits and vegetables are key to keeping up with the energy-boosting vitamins you need to get you through your 12 hour shopping spree, not to mention the Vitamin D we miss from such little sun. If you know you have a party coming up and don’t want to have to hold back too much, (seriously you wanna have fun, right?!) have a smoothie for lunch and/or a salad for supper that day. Try cutting back on calories during the day if you know you’re going to be indulging that night - it’ll help to balance things out.
2. Get your rest. People tend to eat a lot more during the day if they are tired, and it’s usually not the healthiest of foods. I know if I miss out on some ZZZ’s I usually turn to food to keep me going. If you’re tired from being out late the night before, try taking a nap before you reach for a Red Bull and potato chips.
3. Do some yoga! Obviously, any kind of exercise is going to help you keep the weight off. Though it’s hard when you are so busy, try to maintain your regular practice. It will be so beneficial not only to keep you looking trim, but to calm your nerves after a frenzied trip to Wal-Mart. Also, try doing some yoga before going out to one of the many parties I’m sure you have. Exercise gets your body and your metabolism fired up. You can start burning the calories away before you even ingest them! The next day, do some more yoga. Include some deep twists to help detoxify your body and wring out any of the junk you put into it the night before.
4. Have fun! If you are stressing out about the holidays, then stop! Holidays are not supposed to be stressful! If there is something bothersome about the Christmas season, then you need to change how you do things or maybe how you look at things. Don’t worry! Enjoy your parties! Eat, drink and be merry, if that’s what you want to do! You don’t have to pig-out to enjoy yourself. But don’t hold back so much that you don’t have any fun. Personally, I’d much rather have a little jelly belly and enjoy the food and spirits involved with this time of year, than have tight abs and a rock-hard ass and not partake in any pleasantries.