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My guide to surviving the festive season

People are often afraid to gain weight during the holiday season because training is reduced during Christmas time and on the other hand they find lots of food on the buffet. It is all about food, friends and fun. Christmas cookies are not the only enemy (there is no enemy, all foods are friends; but some are little ones while others are bigger), there are many other good things and sometimes it is hard to find the way through all that and make healthy choices.

A few steps that help you to survive this year’s Christmas time without extra pounds include:

  • get involved and help prepare the food. This way you can make sure there are some healthy choices as well.
  • choose foods wisely when you are in front of the buffet. before you take anything, check out what is available. Then make healthy choices and take the foods that seem the healthiest choice.
  • when you go to a party, come prepared. First, don’t skip meals during the day but eat a healthy, fiber rich breakfast. If you skip your breakfast, you show up hungry and are more likely to eat more than you need and exceed your calorie needs by far (the buffet often includes lots of energy dense foods and your intake rises quickly). When the party is in the evening, include protein in your lunch (fish, poultry) and have a fiber rich snack in the afternoon.
  • if there is only a heavy dessert, do not be afraid to ask someone to share. eating only half the portion cuts calories by half but you still get to taste it!
  • take your time when you eat. if you drink some water and pause the eating, it will slow down your eating and decrease your energy intake. Talk to your family and friends, drink from your water or just put down the fork for a moment. It all helps to eat less. Your eating should not turn into a sprint, i.e. finish the plan and eat all as fast as possible. This will most likely result in overeating. Take your time, eat slowly.
  • of course don’t forget to stay active during the holiday season. A brisk walk with the family or a short workout can make you feel better.

Your cheat sheet could include the following suggestions:

  • Do not skip meals
  • Eat in moderation
  • Start with vegetables / salads
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Use a smaller plate
  • Make fiber rich choices

If you are looking for a healthy dessert, choose gingerbread! It is usually eaten around Christmas but it is a yummy snack throughout the year. If you want to give it a try and make it yourself, check out the recipe here. Because it is a good carbohydrate source, you could even make it your choice to fuel your training. Bring it to the gym and snack on it in your weight session or have a bite on the bike or take it with you on your next hike. Gingerbread and some fluids can fuel your workout and provide you with the necessary energy – and it’s all natural too 😉