As the holiday season gets underway, it’s easy for fitness routines to fall by the wayside. Here are a few tips to help you survive – and enjoy – all of those office parties and get togethers without wreaking havoc on your health.
1. Beware the abundant alcohol. It’s unrealistic to say you won’t drink any, so let’s plan for some cocktails and beer to cross your lips in the next few weeks. Try sipping on a cup of water in between each drink. It’s the easiest way to halve the amount of alcohol you’d normally drink in one night. If you have trouble saying, “No thanks” when someone asks, “Can I get you a drink?” or are simply done drinking, order a club soda with lime on the rocks.
2. Watch out for the gut sinkers. Here are some average nutritional facts and figures for the most popular party treats:
One Cup of Egg Nog – 340 calories + 21g sugar
One Small Hot Chocolate – 130 calories + 20g sugar
Slice of Fruit Cake – 319 calories + 32g sugar
Glass of Milk & (2) Cookies – 525 calories + 38g sugar
Medium Cupcake – 250 calories + 25g sugar
1” Square of Chocolate Fudge – 100 calories + 16g sugar
3. Never show up hungry. Always eat before you head to the party (check out Brit’s quick and healthy holiday cup appetizers). If you’re going straight from the office, plan accordingly. If you have time to go home, throw together a salad and toss some lean protein on top or grab some veggies and hummus to snack on as you get ready. If you’ve already eaten, your body will register that it’s full and be less likely to eat the unhealthy calorie-dense options typically found at holiday parties.
4. Remember what tomorrow holds. Enjoy yourself but plan a little extra into your workout the next day to work off the surplus intake. I tell my clients that: a) for every glass of alcohol consumed, they owe me 10 minutes of cardio; b) for every piece of candy, 10 push-ups; c) for every piece of bread or cracker, 10 Burpies.
5. Grab a few health gadgets (here are a few of Brit’s recommendations) to keep things in check. Weigh and measure yourself around the same time every day to get the most accurate readings.
Remember, everything in moderation, and don’t despair if all falls to pieces – just try to balance your week back out Monday-Friday and set your goals high again for 2012.
Tiffany Chag is an ex-collegiate athlete and has been a certified personal trainer since 2005. She has expertise in everything from weight loss to strength training to nutritional counseling.