- October. 22 2021
By Live Well 360 Chef Dean Sheremet
It’s the most wonderful time of year right? Not always the case for our waistlines. Our bathing suits have made their ways to the bottoms of our drawers and the deepest parts of our closets.
Without the threat of the beach, we find ourselves falling back on our old hard ways. We pull on our over-sized reindeer sweaters, slip into our comfy jeans and somehow develop amnesia when trying to recall the location of our local gym. We overeat, overdrink, oversleep, and end up overweight.
This year we’re not going to let it happen!
If we follow these few simple steps, we can ensure that our waistlines don’t keep growing with our holiday spirit.
First things first, let’s start the day off with a healthy, filling breakfast. We shouldn’t stave off our hunger in anticipation of the big meal.
The complex carbohydrates and vitamins in a bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit will have us powered up and feeling full until it’s time to gather round’ the holiday table. Running all day on empty will only set us up for failure.
Let’s not be so hungry, that by the time we do sit down for the “Big Meal” we all end up binging. Remember, the fuller the tank, the less we’ll put in to top it off.
Time off from work doesn’t mean time off from our workouts. We need to stick as close as possible to our normal workout regimens.
Getting a workout in may seem impossible when bunking with relatives in an unfamiliar city, but with a little advance planning we can make it work. We need to pack our Live Well 360 bags with all our workout clothes and equipment that we would normally bring to the gym at home.
Don’t forget to include weather appropriate gear as well. Find local gyms that offer day or week passes. www.gymfinder.menshealth.com is great resource that will have us on a treadmill in no time.
If you can’t find a gym, don’t stress! Push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, resistance bands, and squats can all be done in the space of a bedroom or garage. A few circuits in the morning will kick-start the day and energize you for anything.
Don’t get stuck on the couch watching football all day. No gear, no access to the gym, no problem. Get outside and run!
Running is one of the few things left in life that you don’t need a membership for. The endorphins produced will clear your brain, readying you to face the in-laws at the famous holiday table.
Pick a small plate to put your food on. Start filling up your plate with healthy greens and vegetables and leave only a small space for meats and carbs.
Skip the gravy train and spread some nice homemade cranberry sauce over your holiday bird. Of course, some fruit sauces have a good amount of sugar in them, but in moderation will leave you feeling better off and not weighed down like those starch-laden buttery gravies.
The water bottle that is. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.
Alcohol lowers your guard and tempts you to eat more. A glass of water will have you feeling fuller while eating and not so hung-over the next day.
The dessert table can be a daunting endeavor, don’t let it be. Sample a little bit of everything.
It’s the season to indulge, but don’t go crazy. You don’t need a giant slice of anything! Slivers of pies, a few cookies here and there will keep you palate and your pants happy.
No, this isn’t a Julia Roberts movie franchise. This will, however, ensure that your bum doesn’t fill out and have a sequel of it’s own.
Enjoy your meal seated at the table in the company of friends and family. Make sure you’re not hovering around the serving table grazing, and try not to make that first plate disappear so fast that you’re dashing back for seconds.
Strike up a conversation with your tablemates, find out what everyone’s been up to all year. This will subconsciously have you eating more slowly and giving your stomach time to tell your brain that you are full.
Once you’ve finished your plate take a moment to check in with your stomach and weigh the possible outcome of a second turkey leg.
This is the season of giving, so let’s give ourselves a break. Let’s try not to be so rigid that we don’t allow ourselves the chance to enjoy the season’s tidings.
Take a deep breath and let go of the guilt. This is a time for reflection and if we stay on track we can guarantee by the end of the season we won’t be hiding from our own.
Dean Sheremet is a classically trained chef who has appeared on Hallmark’s new hit show “Home and Family” and contributes articles and recipes for US weekly, Serious Eats, Foodily and The Daily Meal.