Thursday, 12 December 2013


10 Tips to Conquer Holiday Indulgences

Since I am not going to be in Canada for Christmas this year, I have been getting as much holiday cheer in as possible before I leave. 

1. HIIT It

The holidays are generally pretty hectic, so it is sometimes difficult to fit in your regular workouts or trips to the gym. I find the best way to still get in a workout during these times, in between the shopping, packing and social time, is to do short, but intense, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts.

There are tons of resources online that provide short HIIT workout breakdowns, my fav go-to is still Bodyrock for short (about 12-15mins) and effective HIIT workouts that I can sneak in either in the morning before work or in the afternoon in between social events ;)

2. Eat small meals throughout the day

It has been proven that your metabolism stays more elevated when you eat small meals throughout the day. Try not to skip meals by keeping a healthy snack on you as you go about your errands, like and apple and some mixed nuts, veggies and hummus, or a granola bar. This will also help you to avoid going to fast-food restaurants while you are out-and-about.

Apple, almonds and dried dates - perfect portable snack!

3. Hydrate

 Hydration is key. It is crazy how many people are dehydrated on a daily basis, without even realizing it. Dehydration causes all sorts of issues for your body, such as decreasing your metabolic rate, headaches, drowsiness, etc. So, make sure that you always have a water bottle on-hand and try to drink half your body weight in ounces every day. [Not all at once, obvi. Spread it out, y'all!]

Trifecta of hydration: water bottle, Zico coconut water and green tea.

4. Beware of liquid calories

Although it is uber important to make sure that you are drinking enough water throughout the day, be careful about the extra calories that you are consuming through other drinks during the holidays. It may not seem like a lot, but fancy cocktails, rum and eggnog, or even the regular wine or beer add up.

Rum and eggnog. Delicioso.

My fav go-to drink, which is delicious and doesn't have as many sneaky extra calories, is a gin and soda - with two limes, obvi. I also try to alternate an alcoholic beverage with a glass of water so that I stay hydrated throughout the night and end up minimizing the amount of liquid calories that I am guzzling down, and it helps with the morning after ;)

Bottom's up!

5. Organize a fun active family activity - outside!

My family always tries to organize fun activities outside during the holidays as a way to focus more on the time spent together and less on the more materialistic side of Christmas. This can be in the form of a snowy walk, with impromptu snow angel competitions, or by going snorkeling in warmer temperatures. Last year, we went to Dominican Republic and ended up taking my fav family portrait of all time :)

Have fun with it!

6. Moderation is key

As with most things, . Aim for the 80-20 rule: eat healthily 80% of the time, and indulge 20% of the time. That way, you won't be doing too much damage to your hard-earned six pack, and will instead maintain control on those love handles and not have to bust out the larger-sized jeans from the back of the closet by the end of the holidays ;)

7. Try to sneak in exercise where you can

As I mentioned above, I find it easiest to sneak in a quick HIIT workout in the morning so that I get it out of the way and don't have to worry about it later on in the day, when my growing to-do list starts taking over my life. Find what works for you!

8. Load up on veggies and fruit

Aim for the 50% rule - try and cover your plate so that about half of your meal consists of veggies or fruit. This will keep you full for longer, and will help you maintain a bit more portion control over the heavier options like mashed potatoes and stuffing - which I would never be able to pass up ;)

9. Bring a healthy option

If you are going to a big dinner, offer to bring an appetizer or a side dish. Not only with your hosts appreciate the gesture, but you can also ensure that there will be at least one healthy option for you to offset the rest of the heavy meal.

A veggie platter or salad with a light vinaigrette instead of a creamy calorie-dense dressing are great options - delicious, and nutritious :)

10. Treat Yourself

At the end of the day, whether we like it or not (I'm not sure who doesn't like pastries, but whatevs), the holidays are centered around indulgences - big family dinners, drinking, general pastry-induced merriment - and I think it would be silly to completely restrict yourself from enjoying some treats here and there.

So, go ahead, eat that turkey with a side of mashed potatoes and veggies. And maybe even sneak a couple extra gingerbread cookies. Because, at the end of the day, the holidays are about spending time with the people that you love. And, lets be honest, stretchy leggings are always acceptable at the Christmas table, juuust in case you get a bit out of control ;)

Question of the Day:

  • What is your favourite way of making it through the holidays without having to bust out your a larger-sized jeans?

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