Health | December 23rd 2014

This Not That: Holiday Edition

If there’s one thing I hear my friends saying over and over again, it’s that they dread the holidays because of the inevitable weight gain. That, and they can’t wait to celebrate with friends, family and open oodles of presents! But, it’s true, holidays do account for a lot of disruption in routine and diet. And any girl dedicated to eating right and living well naturally gets a little nervous about messing with her holistic, balanced lifestyle.

That said, it’s no reason to let the holidays scare you! Life is all about balance — and that includes celebrating the year with the ones you love — and yes, eating a cookie or two. Here are some of my tricks for enjoying the holiday without throwing away all of the hours in the gym and facing regret the morning after a party. Welcome to “This Not That: Holiday Edition.”

This: Vodka + Soda or Champagne

Not That: Egg Nog, Wine, Beer

Imbibing during the holidays, for those of us of age, is sort of unavoidable. After all holiday parties creep up faster than that sunrise yoga class. One easy way to avoid overindulging and consuming unnecessary calories to pick a holiday cocktail and stick to it. Not only will it help cut calories, but it will avoid the dreaded holiday hangover! Vodka and champagne both land on the lower calorie end of the cocktail spectrum — vodka also has zero carbs and no sugar! 

This: Vegetables

Not That: Starch

Every holiday meal comes equipped with a bevy of side dishes — many of which are full of hidden fats and starches that simply turn into sugar when digested. Instead of choosing the potatoes, go for the veggies. Even veggies cooked with loads of olive oil are better than partaking in the potatoes with butter! 

This: One Slice, One Scoop

Not: Pie a la Mode

Avoiding dessert during the holidays is about as likely as traveling to your holiday destination without experiencing a delay. Instead of swearing off sweets completely during the festive season, give yourself some reasonable guidelines. I like to live by the one slice or one scoop rule. That means one slice of pie — I try to choose the lower calorie pies like pumpkin, which tends to have lower grams of fat and calories — and one scoop of ice cream. Mind you, this isn’t together — it’s one or the other! 

This: Bottle of Water Before Bed

Not: Night-cap

Instead of having that last cocktail before turning in, drink a large glass — three or four if you can — of water. Hydrating before bed is the key to flushing the high sodium foods out of your body as you sleep. It will have you feeling fresh and lithe (the opposite of bloated!) when you wake up.