Depriving and sacrificing is no fun. Think there has to be a better way to live an empowered life you love and enjoy the parties this year? There is! Read on....
It's officially December and the Holiday Season is officially among us! This is one of my favorite times of the year - cooler weather, light displays everywhere, the smell of vanilla and cinnamon, and did I mention the parties?! Now, you're either thinking "Yay! Parties!" or "So. Many. Parties. How the h-e-doublehockeysticks am I supposed to get through another season without gaining a bajillion pounds AGAIN? Wahhhhhhh!" Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration but you get the drift ;-) December is the month where humans tend to give themselves a little too much permission to indulge in.....well, too much. Too much sugary, yummy, comfort food and did I mention the drinks? And I'm sure you've heard someone (maybe even yourself at times) say something along the lines of "Stick a fork in me I'm done." or " You're gonna have to roll me out of here - I'm SO FULL." Or purposely worn a (super cute) flowy top so you can hide it when you have to unbutton the pants (been there.) Then gone home, and been exhausted. For days. What's a girl (or guy) to do?? Stay home and give up having a social life, just so you can keep off the weight you spent the summer losing? I say NO! (I'm now imagining you jumping on your couch like Tom Cruz yelling NO! with me....play along with me, ok? Thanks!)
Let me ask you - what if? What if it didn't have to be that way? What if you could totally go to every single party (yes, even the office party), and leave actually feeling amazing, energized and proud of yourself and the choices you made? And what if it was actually EASY?! Here are some tips and secrets to rocking the Holiday Parties and not feeling like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man (or Woman) at the end.
Tip #1 - Stand. Stand up as much as possible. Standing burns more calories than sitting. Approximately 20-50 more calories per hour (depending on your size)! So, stand up and know you're doing a good thing for yourself and your body!
Tip #2 - Eat and Talk. Not with your mouth full, please. But meet someone new, or talk to a friend. This will automatically force you to slow down your eating. Slowing down allows us to breathe more, which helps our digestion, and gives our brain time to register when we are full, so you will automatically eat less! So, talk away! At a party where you only know the host? See tip 3....
Tip #3 - Believe it or not, I can actually be shy. Yes. You read that right. If I'm at a party where I really don't know anyone, I will stand at the food table and eat until someone talks to me....that's never a good thing. So, a trick I discovered a long time ago is to pick up an hors d'oeuvres tray and pass it around. Trust me, people will talk to you, and don't mind you interrupting their conversation if you are offering them food. You may find that the tray you are passing around doesn't get very far, and that's perfectly ok, because your goal was to meet people and talk! And in the process, you've burned a few extra calories carrying the tray around, and you're standing too. Viola!
Tip #4 - If passing around a tray of food isn't your fancy, simply walk around as much as you can. Walk, and meet people. Or, talk to your friends. I like to make a game, and meet at least 3 new people. Or, if I know everyone, I will try to find out one new and interesting thing about at least 3 people that I didn't already know about them. No one knows you are playing a game in your head, and it's fun! And guess what? You're not eating! See? I told you this would be fun and easy!
Tip #5 - Eat until you're 80% full. This is why tips #2-4 are helpful. Your brain needs at least 20 mins to register you are full, so all the walking, talking and slowing down will give it that time, and occupy you in the meantime :-) Here's the secret - the 80% includes dessert. So when you're eating the appetizers and dinner, eat to 70% full, then you have 10% room for dessert (like that beautiful pumpkin pie pictured right there). This takes some practice. You have to know your body. It's the difference between feeling satisfied and like you ate the perfect sized meal, and needing to be rolled out the door. It's a good thing to be able to do for every meal - and most of us can eat less than we do on average, and still feel full and have more energy than if we ate 3x as much. So, get in the practice of slowing down, breathing, putting your fork down between bites, talking to your family during dinner, and listening to your body. It never lies. It will tell you when it's full. I promise.
Tip #6 - It's time to mention alcohol. I'm not going to tell you to not have a glass of bubbly at a party. You can have fun! But you're going to have some boundaries. You're going to give yourself a 2 alcoholic drink maximum. And on top of that, for every glass of alcohol you drink, you will drink 1 glass of good ol' H20. Water. Agua. Acqua. Wasser. Alcohol is dehydrating, and full of sugar. If you're not properly hydrated, you will wake up in the middle of the night dehydrated...but you will feel hungry. (Our bodies are tricky like that) You will probably want to reach for a snack. (Drink water instead. I promise you will live) Here's another little known fact - drinking alcohol will also actually make you hungrier in the following 1-2 days after drinking it! So, you may tend to over eat for up to 48 hours after indulging in some bubbly. BUT the best way to combat that, is to simply stay hydrated. So, Water, wine, water, wine. Got it?
Tip #7 - This one's simple. Don't deprive yourself. Go out. Have fun. Just keep it in balance. Listen to your body. Trust the process, and you will be able to have your Pumpkin Pie and eat it too this Holiday Season! Now that's making empowered choices and living a radiant, empowered life!
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Sharla Mandere is an Empowerment Coach helping busy people live empowered lives through healthy living. An empowered life is one that is rooted in fun and fabulousness, where you call your own shots, and choose wisely and confidently for yourself and your family.