The holidays are upon us, which means it’s time for suéteres, posadas, and cobijas. And as much as I love the tamal season, there’s a reason why sweatpants are the only thing that fits me this time of year. Many of us gain weight over the holidays. Could it be from the endless shots we take with los tios? Or maybe it’s the fact that we consume more food in one weekend than we do in one year. Who knows. This year, we’re coming up with a game plan before saying adios a la dieta. Here’s what you need to do!
Plan Your Workouts
As a fitness professional, a lot of people tell me that it’s hard for them to stay fit while they travel, especially during the holidays. My tips for keeping fit while out of town are 1) pack workout clothes and 2) plan active activities. Depending on where you’re traveling, planning an active activity, such as a hike, is a great way to make the most of your trip, as well as spend time with your family.
God made water holy for a reason. It literally flushes out toxins from your body. This holiday season, chug water like it’s your job. Drinking water throughout the day will replenish fluids and help keep your appetite in check. Add some lemon slices for a little extra sabor.
Fill Up On Fiber
You know that one friend who judges you when you eat that extra cookie or better yet, physically slaps that cookie out of your hand? Well, fiber is that friend. Fiber will fill you up and prevent you from craving extra sweets later on. Eat more foods like whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, or brown rice. During the holidays, I usually add psyllium husk to my diet. It’s known as one of the most effective fibers for maintaining regular digestive health. Add one teaspoon of psyllium husk to a full glass of water about 30 minutes before your big holiday meal. You’ll thank me later.
Pack a Snack Pack
Going out of town for the holidays? Prepare a healthy snack. You may plan on buying a small salad at the airport, but we all know that cinnamon roll will catch your eye first. Pack a small bag of unsalted nuts or a protein bar before heading to the airport. Everyone may look at you weird but we’ll see who has the last laugh when you’re looking fine as hell on New Year’s Eve.
Pregame Before the Big Meal
Many people think that starving themselves all day will allow them to eat whatever they want at dinner. This is honestly a bad idea. You’ll just end up eating like ten times more than you would if you had eaten breakfast that morning. It’s important to pace yourself throughout the day. One tip that I find helpful is to eat a small snack before going to dinner. Maybe a handful of almonds or baby carrots.
Keep Alcohol Simple
Nothing says posada season like drinking ponche until your family goes back and forth on a song recreating the moment Mary and Joseph finally found a place to stay on Christmas Eve. And Latinos don’t just attend one posada. We attend like at least eight, and all those ponche calories add up. Try to keep your alcohol choices simple this season. One cup of ponche is okay but after that skip any sugary drinks.
Eat Poquito and Despacito
From your mom’s tamales to the pannetone that the family keeps bringing to the parties, holiday food is coming at you and there’s no hiding from it. Plus, if you deny any food your tia chismosa might notice. The trick is to eat poquito de todo. That way, you get to taste all the foods but you’re not overdoing it at the same time. Also, don’t forget to chew your food. Eating at a slower pace will help you become fuller, faster.
Now is the time to get your sleep in. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body craves sugar and fatty foods. Grab your cobija, turn on your Netflix, and sip on some warm tea. Aim for eight hours of sleep.
Take Leftover Desserts to Work
Another reason we gain weight during the holidays is because of all the leftovers. If you have dessert leftover, take it to work and share it with your co-workers. And just to be clear, I mean leftover cookies or something, not like a half-eaten cake. It’s painful to see abuelita’s cookies go, but you’ll be glad you got rid of them.
Get More Vitamin C
Fruits and veggies are important. We know. But during the holidays this cannot be stressed enough. Vitamin C, in particular, gives your immune system that boost it needs to fight against the common cold. On top of that, Vitamin C keeps things flowing throughout your body. Eat more fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, blueberries, or kiwis. Not only does vitamin C help burn belly fat, but it also gives your skin an extra glow!
Lemon Water in the Mornings
Since we are on the subject of vitamin C, try drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning to improve digestion.
Take A Walk
If you are visiting family, suggest taking a walk with them either before or after dinner. Rather than have everyone chismear on the couch, get outside and walk around the block together. Walking is a low impact exercise and it will help burn those extra calories.
Do Some Yoga
Yoga is such a great stress reliever. There’s no need to go to a studio. When you wake up in the morning, do some light stretching or layout a mat (or towel) and search on Youtube for some ten-minute yoga routines.
Veganizing Champurrado, what, like its hard? All you have to do is reach for coconut milk or almond milk instead of dairy. There are many different vegan recipes online. Choose which one is right for you and try it out at your next family party.