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After months of hard training and racing, tis the season to indulge and give yourself a break. During the fabulous weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year you can lighten up on being overly strict about a few things…we promise!
One day a week of overindulging by a few hundred calories will not make a big difference in your overall weight or fitness level. Several studies show the that the average weight gain during the winter holidays is just one pound.
Instead of restricting yourself at parties or holiday events and getting stressed out or denying yourself dessert, just go for it. Obviously you don’t want to overdo it but, if you eat appetizers before dinner and a slice of pie afterward, you will not instantly gain weight. Be sure to get back on track in between indulgences and go for your regular run to manage the extra calories.
Drink Only Low-Calorie Beverages
We all know you shouldn’t necessarily drink your calories but you also don’t have to shop for 15 different organic, sugar-free ingredients to make a cocktail either. Arming yourself with caloric knowledge before heading into a party and then, making informed decisions, is a much better way to go.
A complete list of every alcohol imaginable, with total calories and carbohydrates per serving, should do the trick. Another trick? Drink 8 ounces of water in between each alcoholic drink or offer to be the designated driver.
Cut Out Snacks
Snacks can be the very best part of the holiday season and, if you’re not shopping online, can be the only way you eat for several weeks. The key to successful snacking is preparation. Get out those small plastic bags and fill them with foods high in protein. Hand fruit is an excellent on-the-go option and no, those “sample” treats in the stores definitely do not count!
And how are we supposed to make it through the holidays or be properly outraged at the Starbucks cup choice if we scale back on coffee? Pfff. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee. The calories start to pile up from what you put into your coffee and, most RD’s would agree that drinking it black is best.
However, if you want to try giving up caffeine, we have you covered there too.
No Late Night Eating
There are going to be late nights and there is going to be late night eating. If you haven’t met your caloric maximum intake for the day, it really doesn’t matter when you eat and it can be worse to go to bed hungry. In fact, going to bed without eating may cause you to sleep less and can be counterproductive to building muscle and weight loss.
The holidays present challenges in everyday life which is why they only last a short time. Enjoy them while you can because, before you know it, you will be training for your spring race!