"Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here." Clark Griswold - Christmas Vacation.
Well, we've been in Chicago for nearly 24 hours and I've already broken my healthy eating plan by indulging in one too many pieces of peanut butter fudge after eating some delicious (but rich!) Greek food for dinner. Yikes. I knew it would be difficult to stay on the straight and narrow with all the amazing food in this town, plus the general overindulgence of the holidays. Fortunately, I brought my running shoes and plan to go for a chilly jog tomorrow and a trip to the grocery store for some lighter-fare snacks.
Here are a few more tips for anyone else trying to survive the season with minimal weight gain.
* Take time to eat a light, healthy snack before hitting the big holiday food spread. A small salad, slice of cheese or cup of soup will help stave off hunger pangs. That way, you’re less likely to chow down later.
* When fixing your plate, make sure the bulk of it is fruits and veggies.
* Eating smaller portions is key. Yes, you can indulge in some gingerbread. Just don't eat the entire loaf.
* If you're eating dinner at a friend or relative's house, bring some low-calorie snack options such as a fruit salad or raw veggies and hummus.
* If you're handling the cooking, avoid adding lots of butter, salt and fatty dressings. Create healthier versions of favorite baked goods by using fat-free milk instead of whole milk and applesauce in place of oil. Sweeten your beverage, casserole or dessert with a low-calorie sweetener such as sucralose.
* Always eat dessert last.
* Drink lots of water to help fill you up. And remember that every fruit drink, soda, glass of wine, pint of beer and sweetened coffee comes bearing calories. You can save calories by drinking sucralose-sweetened products such as light lemonade or diet soda.
* Take a walk after supper or get in a morning or afternoon workout before arriving to the party. By sneaking in extra physical activity every day, you are more likely to keep that waistline trim.
Remember, the holidays are a time for spending time with family and friends. You don’t have to deprive yourself to prevent weight gain. With a few simple steps you can maintain your weight while celebrating the season. Check out some of these healthy holiday recipes for food ideas.
And just because I'm in the spirit, I thought I would include a bunch of clips from some of my favorite Christmas movies. Happy holidays y'all.