The holidays are in full swing and I am absolutely thrilled with the change of seasons and the holiday feeling that surrounds us. With all the joy comes the struggle to stay in shape during this time when there is food and treats everywhere!
I like to call this time of year the “maintenance season”. It’s not a time to go crazy and try to get torn and chiseled, but a time to hold onto a great place and avoid the vacation win. I wouldn’t suggest dodging your favorite treats or desserts, but enjoying the holiday season while you are CLEVER about these decisions. I believe in balance, and balance means enjoying this time with loved ones and giving yourself permission to take a “break”.
Here are some realistic tips to keep you posted and avoid gaining weight on vacation while enjoying your friends, family, and vacation fun!
1. Move your body
This is so important! Don’t stop just because it’s cold outside or you feel the “holiday fever”. No matter how slow you walk or how short your workout is, just make a commitment to moving your body daily! Keeping active during the vacation will not only keep your weight in check, but your sanity too. Exercise releases endorphins so you have no excuse but to smile. Not to mention, it helps relieve stress from the natural stressors that can appear during this holiday season. Do whatever you can to achieve something. Remember, it doesn’t matter how slow you drive – just WALK!
2. Get your test
There are so many parties and commitments at this time of year that it is just normal for you to hit the pillow later than normal. Enjoy late nights but be smart as it is only inevitable that late nights can result in poor food choices and canceled workouts. When you are tired, your body makes more of the hormone ghrelin, rather than as much leptin. This is not a good combination, which often makes you want to eat more of the not-so-good stuff. This can lead to unwanted weight gain on vacation if you only snack late at night! Do your best to get as much rest as possible! Sleep will save you pounds!
3. Make your own vacation creations
This is the time of year when people experience cravings that they usually avoid during the rest of the year. It’s so easy to give in because we naturally get into that “vacation mode” where we immerse ourselves and tell ourselves that we will get back on track in the New Year. The best thing you can do is pamper yourself, but in moderation. Make smart decisions and better yet, create your own healthy versions of holiday treats so you can still enjoy the season without packing the pounds. Making your own version of your favorite vacation treat can save you tons of calories, fat, and sugar, all of which can save you pounds!
At this time of year, I crave pumpkin and cinnamon. Check out these Killer Cinnamon Holiday Bars that will satisfy your vacation need and make you feel and look amazing this holiday season!
CINNAMON HOLIDAY BARS
2 scoops of vanilla protein (I used Devotion Nutrition Angel Food Cake)
4 packets of Monkey Bread Flex Flavors
2 cups of ground oatmeal
3 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup nut butter
¼ cup sliced almonds or crushed walnuts
a dash of cinnamon
¼ cup chocolate chips (I used Lily’s stevia chocolate chips)
How to prepare
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray the baking dish (8 × 8) with nonstick spray and set aside. Mix all of the wet ingredients in the food processor. Add dry ingredients other than almonds and chocolate chips and keep mixing until well mixed. Put in a baking dish and fill with almonds, chocolate chips and a hint of cinnamon. Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and fully cooked. Take it from the stove and let it cool off. Cut into bars and enjoy!
Makes 10 bars
(1 bar per serving)
Fat: 10 grams
Sat Fat: 1.75 grams
Carbohydrates: 21 grams
Protein: 9.5 grams
Fiber: 4 grams
Sugar: 1.25 grams
Yields: 10 bar
4. Drink your water
Water will be your best friend this season! Staying hydrated is key! Did you know that many times when you are hungry you can simply be dehydrated? By staying hydrated, you will save unnecessary calories, eliminate toxins, keep your energy levels up, and do so much more. I suggest you get at least 3/4 of a gallon of water a day. What helps me is to carry a cute water bottle everywhere. I know how many times I have to fill the bottle and make a game of it to make sure I get it all.
5. Have a New Years plan
The best thing you can do for yourself is not to wait until 2017 to come up with a plan for how you are going to achieve your New Year goals. Think NOW about your SMART Goals and the steps you will take to reach them. Once you have a set plan of attack and the support that is around you, the sky’s the limit and you have what it takes to achieve your goals, achieve them AND maintain them !!
Hope this helps you enjoy this holiday season! Enjoy your time with family, friends and loved ones !!