by Henry Gould – Dec 3rd, 2019
We’ve hit December, which means holiday parties and excessive eating and drinking are starting to gain momentum. It can sometimes feel impossible to escape, especially when there’s a seemingly endless stream of excuses to indulge every day of the week.
But that’s why we’re here to help!
Instead of being the grinch who turns down plans because they have 6:00am spin class, use the below tips and tricks to keep the month of December in control, and help you do both: stay active and healthy while also indulging.
As we’ve discussed lots on this blog, sugar is the true enemy of your waistline. Sugar means a spike in insulin, which then tells the body to store any excess energy as fat. This can be tough during the holidays, especially because chocolate and cookies seem to appear out of nowhere.
If you’re looking to mitigate weight gain over the holidays, try and limit sugar when possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat any sugar, it means limiting it for the times you really, really want it.
Usually these sugary treats come later in the day or at night, so try to make breakfast something simple (eggs, peanut butter, low sugar protein shake) to help offset. Avoid sugar in coffee or tea. Base your lunch around a protein and vegetables, skipping bread, rice or other starches. That way if you’re out at night, you don’t need to feel guilty.
Hydrate + Vitamins, Probiotics
You haven’t had a green vegetable in days. Your blood is thick with brie and puff pastry. You have an 8:00am meeting tomorrow but your boss just paid everyone’s cover at The Roxy, and wants to get tequila shots…
You need to get smart. Time heals all wounds, including bad hangovers, but so does hydrating with water and getting your immune system back up. Keep a water bottle on your desk all day, and drink, drink drink. Staying hydrated is crucial to recovery.
During the holidays, make sure you’re taking a multivitamin every day, and maybe even a probiotic supplement. This helps fill in those gaps that your diet might be neglecting, because spinach dip doesn’t count as a vegetable.
Control the booze
Staying hydrated is the best way to avoid a serious hangover. If you can, stock your fridge with flavored sparkling water and bring some along to a holiday party. Alternate each boozy drink with a non-booze drink. A glass of club soda with ice and lime looks the exact same as a vodka soda, so no one will be the wiser.
Any days you don’t have parties, balance them with a night off. 2-3 drinks every night for a month can really add up, so use days off to your advantage.
High alcohol beers tend to have more sugar (i.e. IPA’s), whereas dry red and white wine are lower in sugar. Surprisingly, Guinness Beer is one of the lowest calorie beers, despite the dark color and rich taste.
Sweat every day
This makes the biggest difference of all. Obviously any Yard Athletics classes are your best option for staying on the straight and narrow, but if you can’t make it to the Yard, try and get a good sweat in.
That tiny gym in your apartment building? Give it 45 minutes of your best effort, then put on your ugly Christmas sweater.
Why not jog or walk to work? Or bike? If there’s an office party at night, workout that morning or during your lunch break.
Make fitness plans with friends or colleagues before an event, so the party becomes the reward.
Overall, staying active is the #1 way to avoid feeling like a slug on New Years Eve. You want to start 2020 with a bang don’t you???