The end of the year means many things, but to the spare tire waiting to emerge around your midsection it's a prime opportunity to step into the spotlight. Seemingly endless amounts of delectable dishes and finger foods call to you, promising not to judge the gluttony, never mentioning that the wretchedly ugly sweater Grandma knitted for you to wear at all the holiday gatherings is beginning to look like you're smuggling a bowling ball around. It's easy to pack on the pounds at the various holiday gatherings you'll be partaking in, but with the following few key reminders, you can prevent having to put yourself through an ironman training course before showing yourself in public without a dozen layers of clothing.
1. Portion Control – The holiday eating season is a marathon, not a sprint. Every plateful of food has another waiting right behind it, lovingly pushed in your direction by aunts and grandmothers who want nothing more than to see some meat on those bones! Scoop up the small helpings so they don't have to roll you out of the room at the end of the festivities.
2. Skip the Egg Nog – At 350 calories and 20 grams of fat per serving, you may as well be drinking mayonnaise. Literally any other beverage would be healthier for you, but we recommend a steady flow of water into your system to aid digestion and keep from adding to the caloric mountain you're ingesting this holiday season.
3. Ease Up On Desserts – The cookies, sweets, treats, cakes, pies and more are nearly impossible to resist, and nobody's saying you have to. The key is moderation, so choose your indulgences wisely. It's not necessary to stick to the strictly low-calorie diet key lime pie in the corner, as long as two cookies don't become five, and the slice of pumpkin pie means you skip the cherry, chocolate raspberry and apple.
4. Pace Yourself! – They say that the human stomach doesn't recognize the feeling of being full until 20 minutes after you've actually eaten, so make sure to take your time stuffing your face! Enjoy conversation with loved ones around you and catching up on stories as you make your way through the bountiful holiday feasts over the year-end festivities. It will allow you to pace yourself while being tempted by the best food you'll taste all year.
5. Exercise – The best way to drop those extra holiday pounds is to get active! Get your cardio going with a half hour bike ride or a jog in the morning, to get your system active before the indulgence begins. If running is a bit too much after the edible overload of the holiday season, take a lengthy walk with loved ones around the neighborhood. Then, if you're up for a little sweat, do a few sets of crunches and push-ups each day. You'll minimize the impact of all the eating, and add a little bit of muscle in the process!