Holidays are a fun time where we get to surround ourselves with friends and family and simply have a good time and enjoy each other's company. It's a day we get off from work and allow ourselves to unwind a little. One downside, however, is that we tend to let our guard down on holidays and can possibly pack on the pounds if we aren't careful. For that reason, I've come up with some straightforward strategies that you can implement, so you don't feel as if your belt is a noose around your midsection. Here's how to make it through Memorial Day parties without loosening your belt.
1. Schedule a workout Thanksgiving morning
A great way to prepare for a holiday is by getting your workout in first thing in the morning. Wake up, grab some breakfast (or exercise in a fasted state), and crush a workout. By getting in early, not only are you burning calories to start your day and getting it out of the way but, on holidays, you are less likely to find your way to the gym – or your gym might close early on that day forcing you to skip your workout. Schedule it early and get it in. No excuses.
2. Eat something small Thanksgiving morning
By having a little something (maybe an apple with some natural peanut butter), small for breakfast, you are less likely to show up starving and wind up eating everything in sight – including the foods you usually wouldn't put on your plate. Keep it small and light. Don't go for heavy, high-calorie foods before you go.
3. Drink lots of water
Water is your best friend. Not only due to the hydration standpoint but because it can trick your brain into thinking you are full even when you didn't eat anything. When we drink water, it fills up the stomach partially. The stomach then sends a signal up to the brain, saying, "Hey, I have something in me, turn off the sensation of hunger until this is gone." Additionally, you should be consuming water if you are partaking in any adult beverages. Follow up any adult beverage with a glass or bottle of water. Not only will this help you prevent dehydration, but it will also help you limit your alcohol consumption, which we will touch on at the end of this article as well.
4. Fill up on fibrous foods if available
Fiber is extremely healthy and a nutrient we all need and that most of us don't get enough of. Fiber can be found in vegetables like broccoli, fruit like apples, and even in things like nuts such as almonds. Why is this important? Because during holidays, we tend to see all of those items I just mentioned. These fibrous foods will help you feel satiated and prevent you from overeating. You can either eat these items before a meal, so you don't stuff your face later, or you can add them to your meal if you wanted to stay away from all of those tempting desserts on the table.
5. Pass on seconds
Passing on the thought of seconds doesn't mean adding twice as much food to your first plate to compensate. Fix a plate with healthy lean proteins, vegetables (green and leafy would be preferred if available), and if you wanted to indulge a little, toss on something you normally wouldn't eat during the week (heck, it's a holiday). You'll want to ensure that your protein and healthy items outweigh the "poor" choices you decided to add to your plate. When you are finished with your plate, politely go put the dish in the sink/dishwasher. You don't need to make a big scene like you didn't enjoy the food, but by eliminating the plate, you are less likely to go up and help yourself to seconds or even thirds.
6. Minimize the alcohol
I'm not naïve to think that you won't enjoy an adult beverage with your friends or family if you're of age. This can be something like a beer, mixed drink, or even something straight like a glass of scotch. The key is to not overconsume on these types of beverages. Alcohol is loaded with empty calories that do absolutely nothing for you in terms of helping you reach your health and physique goals. In fact, too much alcohol and empty calories will have you wondering why your pants are fitting a little tighter than normal. Minimize or skip the alcohol altogether. Not only all of that, but no one likes to be around someone who's drunk and had too much to drink – don't be that person and embarrass yourself.