With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you need to have an action plan in place to keep the pounds off, but still be able to enjoy the excitement of the holidays. The menus are yummy and drinks plentiful...so what can we do to stay in shape?
Here are ten tips that will help you get through the holiday parties.
1. Healthy lifestyle. If you're already leading a healthy lifestyle, then it shouldn't be too difficult to stay on track. And if you exercise on a regular basis, you'll most likely be craving a workout while visiting Aunt Sally up north. Your exercise routine should be squeezed in even on the days that seem like you don't have a minute to yourself. Even if it's just a for ten or fifteen minutes, find a nearby park and jog, or close the door to your room and pop in a twenty minute Pilates CD. You'll feel better and won't feel so guilty about the slice of pumpkin pie you had last night.
2. Portion control. Go on and enjoy the potato or macaroni salad, but only if you have a scoopful instead of a mountain sized portion. Use small plates when going through the buffet line and ask for smaller cuts of meat. Keep portions at a minimum, especially the fattening foods, and your waistline won't grow.
3. Fill up on veggies and fruit. Skip the dip and have chips and salsa instead. Or better yet, substitute the cheese plate for a plateful of veggies. Ok...maybe a couple of bite size cheese treats, but nothing more than that. Pile up your plate with melon and grapes instead. And if you decide to have pie, scrape the frosting or whipped cream off first.
4. Limit your alcohol. One or two drinks and then stick to water. And if your driving, you may want to have only one of those delicious apple martinis early on in the evening. Or a splash of lemon juice with sparkling water is the perfect cocktail to keep that figure--and you won't feel like a party pooper.
5. Dance. If there's music playing and room to dance, then shake your booty. Nothing's better for the body and the soul then to dance like there's no tomorrow.
6. Play with the kids. Instead of watching the game on the couch, play a game of catch or hide and seek with the kids. If you live in a warm climate like Jacksonville, and there's a pool available, take a swim with your niece. If not, pushing a swing will be more successful in working off the fabulous meal you just ate instead of sitting at the table chatting and having another piece of apple pie.
7. Eat something before you leave home. Sounds crazy, but if you eat a piece of fruit or a handful of carrots and drink lots of water, you won't eat as much at the party. You can still enjoy the tasty treats, but you'll consume less and be happy with the results.
8. Just say no. Some people like to see their guests with a full plate and keep piling on the food. We've all done it at one time or another just to be polite and ate more than we wanted. But learn to turn down that second helping or skip dessert. Praise the cook, but insist that you can't eat another bite or you'll burst.
9. Go for a walk. If you're visiting, take your hubby, a relative, friend or family pet and go for a walk around the neighborhood and soak in the local scenery. If you're having dinner at your house, excuse yourself for ten minutes after everyone is stuffed and passed out in the living room, and walk around the block a couple of times. You'll feel better and ready to face the cleanup...unless you're lucky and find that your family or friends have done it for you.
10. Enjoy yourself. Feeling happy and being surrounded by family and friends is healthy and good for you. You'll feel content and confident and want to make sure that you're taking good care of yourself by not over indulging...and if you do, don't fret. Just make sure you work it off at the gym tomorrow!
AP PHOTO/ WINSLOW TOWNSON