For a few days, I’ve started the morning with a cup of hot green tea with lemon before breakfast. I think of it as a gentle post-Thanksgiving detox. I was feeling so bloated after the holiday–I didn’t eat too much, but everything was high in sodium and fat, so it felt like I ate a ton! The tea has been really helping me feel lighter and slimmer again.
Want to know what I do to make sure the holidays stay healthy and I don’t un-do all my hard work at the gym?
1. Follow the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy, whole foods 80% of the time, but indulge and enjoy things that are usually off-limits 20% of the time. If eating healthy is a lifestyle, a few days out of the year are not going to ruin your weight loss goals in the long run.
2. Sample everything you’d like to try at the holiday dinner table. If your hostess insists you eat more, let her know overeating makes your stomach ache and you want to be able to try everything she made without being uncomfortable the rest of the day. This way you can taste everything, but still keep your meal on the lower-calorie side.
This pic is before the food made it into the dishes, but you get the idea…there was wayyy too much food going on! I somehow didn’t get a pic after the food was ready… hmm.
I did get a picture of the pies! Pumpkin and apple, plus we had brownies too (my mom’s hybrid brownie Can’t Leave Alone Bars)
3. Exercise the morning before the big meal! My brother and I went running before Thanksgiving dinner, and like always it upped my appetite and made me feel much better about indulging. This is a semi-tradition in our family, my sister has gone running with me before Thanksgiving dinner a couple times too. I’m sure somebody will go with me every year 🙂 We might go on Christmas morning too, after the presents are opened!
4. Enjoy being with your family. Life isn’t about weight loss, eating, and looking good. It’s about love. Feeling guilty about overeating all day isn’t worth it when you could be relaxing and enjoying the company of great-aunt Louise and the cousins who are visiting from out-of-town.
That’s my little brother, Clay, my sister, Vanessa, and me.
5. Eat lighter, but not less after the big day. Yes, your body still needs food after you’ve overeaten. No, that doesn’t mean you should have leftover pie the next day for breakfast. But having a bowl of oats or some eggs and a veggie hash is necessary. No need to starve yourself after indulging…that will just confuse your body. Return to your normal, healthy diet on December 26th.
Speaking of December 26th…that brings up the Pantry Challenge. At the fitness club I work at, we’re encouraging members to makeover their pantries the day after Christmas as the first step toward having a healthy new year and finally losing the weight they’ve been trying to for so long. It all starts in the kitchen, folks. We are what we eat. Where did you think your skin comes from?? Every 4 months (120 days) our entire body is “reconstructed” from whatever we’ve eaten during that time. And we all know by now that 100 calories from a doughnut look nothing like 100 calories from a chicken breast or a salad with dark leafy greens.
The trainers at the club are going to bring in empty containers of their favorite pantry staples to show members what to replace their usual pantry items with–since the first part of the challenge involves throwing away all the stuff that isn’t doing them any favors (like those chocolate kisses you made cookies with for Christmas, or the genetically modified microwave popcorn).
So I want to extend the challenge here on the blog, and add a twist–let’s makeover our pantries on a budget. Set aside whatever you’d like to spend on some healthy staples want in your pantry and stick to that budget. I’ll be doing the same, and posting as December 26th approaches with some of my favorite pantry items. Deal? Deal.
Here are the rules:
Email me a pic of your “before” pantry, or instagram it @eclecticflgirl
Post in the comments on my “after” pantry post with new, healthy items you put in your pantry and let us know how far under your budget you were. You can let us know how much it cost too, if you want.
I can’t wait to see your pantries “after”! I hope we can all get some good ideas from each other and try some new foods in the process. Remember, I’ll be posting “after” food ideas for you as we approach December 26th 🙂