The wonderful, magical holiday season is quickly approaching us! While the holidays bring about an abundance of heart-warming charm, I am still terrified. That is because it is also the time of the year where I somehow end up resembling the very food on which I overindulge: doughy and muffin-topped. I don’t know why, but for as long as I can remember, I have considered the last three months of the year to be synonymous with completely acceptable over-eating and indulgence.
However, this year I plan to put my foot down and end the madness. While I have made this claim countless times in the past only to end in shameful failure, I fear that my youthful metabolism is no longer on my side to pick up the slack. I figure the best way to give advice on eating wisely during the holidays is to look at everything I have done in the past and suggest doing the exact opposite.
#1 (What Would Bri Do): Consider nothing to be off limits during the holidays and enjoy seconds at every meal
What You SHOULD Do: Don’t completely limit yourself, just use portion control
There’s no need to deprive yourself of all the wonderful goodies that emerge throughout the holidays. Just eat smart and use common sense; it’s all about portion control. I realize I am quite the hypocrite as I sit here eating cookies I had delivered to my door. Remember, do as I say, not as I do. SERIOUSLY.
#2 (WWBD): Consider running into work to avoid clocking in late ample cardio for the week
WYSD: Continue exercising regularly
If you’re a healthy human, keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re like me, throw in a jog or two every week to counteract that slice of pie or extra turkey leg you just inhaled. The great thing about exercise is that it alleviates the inevitable guilt that comes with eating anything delicious.
#3 (WWBD): Purchase Egg Nog by the case at Costco. You can have Egg Nog any time of the day because it’s the holidays, right? ‘Tis the season to imbibe!
WYSD: Avoid too many holiday cocktails and beverages
Yeah, this is a tough one. For those of you, like me, who believe any reason to celebrate also deserves a cocktail, consider choosing lighter cocktails. Treat egg nog and other calorie-heavy drinks as just that: treats. Try sticking to wine or something like a vodka soda when you plan on having more than one drink. I could advise cutting down on beverages altogether, but come on, let’s be real.
#4 (WWBD): Eat, food coma, wake, eat, food coma…
WYSD: Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed
Don’t blame the tryptophan, it’s called “you ate way too much, dude.” It’s simple. The world isn’t ending and no one is counting on you to scrape your plate (and your second one) clean. ENJOY the glorious grub in front of you, don’t inhale it.
#5 (WWBD): Add butter and whipped cream to everything because, once again, it’s the holidays
WYSD: Lighten recipes by switching some ingredients for healthier alternatives
Nixing these two holiday ingredients might seem sacrilege, but in all actuality, the results are usually indistinguishable. It can just be a matter of using less or replacing half the flour in a recipe for wheat flour. These are quick, easy tweaks that can make a dish a bit healthier and totally fool a holiday foodie like myself.
It is possible to make it through the holidays without looking like the Pillsbury Dough Boy; it just takes a little extra effort and will power. When in doubt, just ask yourself, “What would Bri do?” Then do the exact opposite.