We are approaching 3 big ones. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years; or as I like to call it, “The season of eating!” and drinking for that matter.
“Cheers to the average weight gain of 7-10 pounds” said no one ever.
Then come January and the reoccurring resolution. Zillions join the gym with new goals, and new hopes to stick to a diet that doesn’t work. Bah Humbug. What if we went through the holidays, maintained, and possibly even lost weight? Then MAYBE a resolution wouldn’t be as hard to attain? Maybe it wouldn’t be considered a “resolution” but a continuance of a lifestyle? A lifestyle instead of a diet that only started because we blew it on the holidays and were waiting until January to start again? Resolutions could be an entirely different blog post, back to the point.
So what can you do through this eating season? I compiled a list of some hacks that will hopefully help you maintain and not gain through the holidays.
1. TRIED TO MAKE ME GO TO REHAB I SAID No, No, NO!
Put the bread down. In fact put all addictive foods down. Grains, crackers, cakes, cookies, etc. Nine times out of 10 anything made with flour also contains sugar. Stay away from sugar, syrups, and high fructose corn syrup. Stay away from anything that has the ability to turn OFF your natural “fullness” trigger and turn you into a sugar-high-carb-monster. We all know we can’t just have ONE of something when its just sitting on a plate calling your name. Once you start its a slippery slope. If I told you ” FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, AVOID THE BRUSSEL SPROUTS” I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog, and you would say “No problem I can do that”. Why? Why is it when I suggest to NOT eat grains and sugars do people loose their lids? Because they are ADDICTIVE foods. Brussel sprouts and other REAL food are NOT addictive. Put yourself in rehab, eat as much REAL food as you can.
2. CLINK LETS DRINK!
Alcohol is no bueno when coming to losing weight or maintaining. I won’t dive into exactly WHY and crush your hopes dreams forever BUT If you are trying to lose weight, its not your friend. It can also lead to lax-a-dazy food binges, streaking naked in a snow drift, making out with your grandma, egg nog keg stands, and other bad decisions all around this season. If you do decide to consume, here are some hacks.
The sugar rims, the sugary pops, the high carbs, the mixers. Carbs & sugar make you fat. Ice tea, pepsi, diet pepsi, ginger ale, etc bad bad bad, BUT there is a solution! Clear soda water, even the flavored ones (Rasberry, lime, lemon etc) have zero amounts of sugar and zero carbs. Don’t ask me how the factory “naturally” was able to infuse those flavors (you could be consuming a chemically engineered crap storm) BUT no sugar, no carbs.
If you can avoid beer, do it. If you can swallow it and not a beer snob, go for a cider ale instead. They are not made from grains ,and have much lower carb count then actual beer. The ones that I have found to have the lowest carb/sugar count is Mich Ultras Cider Ale and Stella Artois Cidre (if you like spending $8 on a pack of 4). They are much lower in alcohol but maybe it will prevent you from running around naked in the snow?
Red wine over white. Most reds are made with less sugar. “Well Dr. Oz said its healthy to drink one glass of red wine a day.” Alcohol is alcohol. Red wine is alcohol. BUT Red wine has less sugar. Sugar makes you fat. Red wine also contains awesome antioxidants.
Over all my suggestion as far as which drink is the best would be in the following order…
Mocktails>Red wine > Soda mixed drinks>Ciders>Shots, Shots, shots… shots shots.
2. I DIP, YOU DIP, WE DIP!
Dips are hands down the item you will see the MOST during this season. With the nutritional lifestyle we follow at the studio, most dips are “primal friendly” and could quite possibly be the only thing you can eat at a gathering.
Step one: Avoid the crackers, pretzels, breads, crustinis, etc. Find the veggie tray and load up! Celery, carrots, peppers, make AWESOME replacement dippers for all the addictive crap (ie breads, wheats). You could also use pepperoni or cheese as a vessel to consume dip. When all else fails, use a spoon. I’ve done it before, and received glares as I shoveled chicken wing dip into my mouth with nothing but a spoon (ok, maybe I used my fingers too). Haters gonna hate. For the MOST part, MOST dips have base ingredients of cheese, sour creams, cream cheese, and so on. All things containing FAT that will aid in making you feel full without making you gain the pounds.
Another good dip replacement are crackers made from nuts. “Nut Thins” are my favorite, low in carbs and made from almonds. You can find them in most gluten free sections of your grocery store.
Step two: Bring your OWN dip! Something that you know you can rely on to eat. Nothing like going to a holiday party and having nothing to eat that works for you. Then you start drinking your club soda cocktails and cider. Next thing you know your untagging pictures on facebook from the night before all because you didn’t bring a dip.
3. “PARTY OVER HERE! PARTY OVER THERE!”
Be the HOST! Serve all foods that YOU don’t have to worry about. You’d be doing yourself and your guests a favor! I have several times held shin-digs, made all food primal friendly and no one has mentioned or realized the addictive foods were missing! You may have to clean up, but you don’t have to drive home!
4. HUFF & PUFF BEFORE YOU STUFF
FACT: You cannot out-work, out-run, out-lift, out-sweat, out-p90x, out-jazzercize a BAD diet. So then why would I recommend that you exercise during this feasting time of year? When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t eat like crap. You are less likely to pound your face if you pound the gym before a gathering. Even if its a walk outside, DANISTREAM for an hour (Join HERE for $1.99/month!) or join us for our actual bootcamp called “Huff&Puff before you stuff” on Thanksgiving Day! (Last Dani-Fit plug I swear). Eight am, $7 bucks to drop in, Punch on your punch card or free for 30 day members. Exercise is more likely to lead you to better decisions in the kitchen, or for this matter, the holiday party.
5. “A.P.P. yeah you know ME!”
A.P.P. Create Awareness , Be Poised, and Be Polite.
So you can’t break the tradition and hold the party, OR its your first time meeting your significant others family and you have the anxiety of explaining your CRAZY food “lifestyle”. You don’t want to cause an inconvenience, you don’t want to offend the host and you don’t want to be called the “health-freak”.
Awareness: Inform with Grace: Or have your significant other help you ahead of time to inform the family, or party that your attending.
Say that you “may be bringing some alternative food options to use because you don’t want to be a fatty pants this year”
Nevermind. Scratch that last sentence. (Grace-Grace-Grace) OK.
Ahead of time create a polite awareness that you are sticking to your guns this eating season, and hope its ok if you bring along some alternative dipping options. There. No one gets offended. You can also share with more than just those attending the party. Creating awareness among your peers and socialites can hold you a little more accountable and you may get some cheerleading from those who support you. For those who don’t support you, and continue to badger you about all the FAT your eating, and how your cholesterol is going to jump through the roof, ask them how THEIR diets working out for them? Continue then to eat your chicken wing dip with a spoon.
Poised: Be confident in your decision, and your attempt this season to hack through the season with out gaining the pounds! You can do this, but YOU have to believe it. Hey if your confident enough, and its working for you, maybe you will inspire someone else to look more into what your doing? Be an inspiration.
Polite: My family is so sweet to alternate traditions on the menu so it fits for me and my daughters “lifestyle”. I tell them all the time, “don’t worry about it, we can make it work!” It took me time to realize they are doing it out of love, and instead of wasting my time and getting upset that they are going through more trouble than they need to, I should just say “Thank You”.
Some are not so lucky. Even if there is awareness about your food choices, Aunt Bertha will become extremely defensive when you decline her famous pineapple upside down cake. In case of emergency, would it be that terrible to take ‘A ‘ bite? Just one bite. Aunt Bertha is off your case and on to pestering your single brother that he needs to find a nice girlfriend, giving you time to refocus. Problem diverted, in a polite way. In other cases, when you are not shoveling in the addictive foods, its WAY easier to say “no”. Its not about will power or how much mental strength you have – its about not jumping on the blood sugar train the first place. When they are not present in your diet, the cravings fade away.
6. REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD.
NOT. Remember that one time, when you were killing it with your food choices, you were down a few sizes, or lifting heavy things through the roof, AND THEN YOU ATE LIKE CRAP.
What did you feel like the next day? CRAP
Try to remember when you went balls to the wall with your “cheat day” and how you felt after. After my first natural bodybuilding figure show I ate 3 doughnuts with sprinkles ( from a gas station EWH). I woke up naked in the fetal position shaking on the floor. Luckily I was able to delete the pictures. Never again.
There you have it. I hope you enjoyed and hope that these hacks can help you get through the next few months of festivities! Spend time with friends, families and loved ones since thats what this season is truely are about. Well, unless one of them goes streaking naked in the snow, then that’s what it’s about.
Danielle Pietrocarlo Nyhart is the Owner of The Dani-Fit fitness studio based out of Buffalo, New York. In 2011 she began teaching fitness class at a small studio in Armor NY, and then blossomed enough to open her own studio in 2012.
Dani-Fit offers group classes, childcare, personal training, help with weight loss, and overall happy health management. She prides on the studio’s welcoming atmosphere, and relationships built between the determined men and women that enter their doors. Clients are treated as family, and its this value that separates her and her fitness business from others in the industry.
She has certifications in Personal Training, Sports Nutrition, Group Fitness, Pre-Natal Yoga, Kangatraining, Zumba, Kettle Bell AMPD. Danielle conducted the Buffalo Color Run Warm up for hundreds of participants in 2013 & 2014, has taught classes internationally at resorts located in Jamaica, and is the creator of the popular Buffalo Meltdown Weight Loss Contest. Danielle is a state certified judge for the 100% RAW power lifting Federation, and attained her Professional Status as a Natural Muscle Association Bikini Competitor in 2013. After 5 years of fundraising, Danielle is finally in the process of building a free outdoor fitness park to be built at the Nike Base in Hamburg NY. She resides in her hometown of Hamburg, NY with her 7 year old daughter Gianna, 1 year Old Daughter Iyla, and Husband Andrew.
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