Post-Thanksgivukkah and Pre-New Year’s Diet Tips
Registered Dietitian recommends recipes and tips for getting back in those post-Thanksgivukkah jeans. Read More
Are you feeling those post-Thanksgivukkah pounds? Luckily for your waistline, you won’t have to deal with those two highly caloric days overlapping for another 70,000 years. But currently—you are likely dealing with a little excess. You might have some leftovers on your hips, or maybe it all goes to your arms. Wherever the latkes are lying on your body, it’s time to reboot. You want to look and feel your best at all the upcoming ugly sweater parties, and of course, the infamous New Year’s Eve party.
Here are some tips that will allow you to manage your weight and health during the upcoming weeks:
Mindful eating is the practice rooted in Buddhism that focuses on expanding consciousness while consuming meals. Mindful eating is essentially recognizing when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. This all comes from being in tune with your hunger and satiety cues in order to guide you from eating that last jelly doughnut.
Before reaching for food, first ask yourself if you are physically hungry or if you just feel bored. Maybe there is something bothering you. Become aware of it, and then direct that energy to something more constructive than mindless eating.
Make sure to start the day with a breakfast that includes both carbohydrates and protein. The combinations will jumpstart your day and kick start your metabolism. Skipping breakfast will cause your body to hold on to excess fat, making it harder to lose weight, even if you’re hitting Soul Cycle or the yoga mat. Some healthy ways to start the day:
- oatmeal with Greek yogurt and a banana
- whole grain toast with almond or peanut butter (or you can even spread a 1/2 of a ripe avocado and drizzle some olive oil)
- an apple with walnuts and goat cheese
- cottage cheese & berries
- egg whites with a piece of toast
People who eat breakfast in the morning are less likely to impulsively eat later in the day. If you are in a rush, or absolutely hate eating in the morning, at least make sure to have a piece of fruit or a cold pressed juice.
Speaking of cold pressed juice…GO GREEN
Cold pressed green juice will increase your energy during this busy, and likely draining, time of year. Green juice aides in absorption, digestion, and decreased bloating. Even better–it’s low calorie, but still full of nutrients that will make your skin glow sans Insta-filter.
You can check out a juice bar such as Organic Avenue or Juice Press, or you can always blend your own. It’s important to have a vegetable based juice as opposed to fruit based. Fruity drinks are normally very high in sugar and calories; although of course, a fruit or two CAN be added to balance the bitterness of the vegetables. Beets and apples usually do the trick. Also, ginger and lemon create a balanced taste. Ginger is especially useful during this time of year, because it decreases gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, bloating and stomach pain. Lemons are a natural diuretic promoting detox–you may need this the morning after! The Vitamin C in lemons will boost immunity to avoid coming down with a cold during this busy time.
Some good mixes to start with:
- 5 handfuls of spinach, 3 kale leaves, 3 celery stalks, 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 lemon and 1 red apple
- 6 swiss chard leaves, 1 cup of green grapes, 1/2 cucumber, 1 green apple, 1 piece of ginger
- 4 handfuls of spinach, 2 cucumbers, 2 red apples
The key to staying motivated and efficient with anything in life is to have a schedule. In the beginning of each week when looking at your iCal or calendar (if you’re old school), make yourself block out time for exercise. If it helps, go out and purchase a new workout top in a color you like. You make think it’s silly, but I know from experience, it helps. Aim for at least four active days–whether that means a walking around the Central Park loop or kickboxing with your roommate.
Intervals are ideal for this time of year. When on the treadmill, elliptical, or bike, alternate intensity and speed every two minutes to achieve maximum calorie burn.
Gapfit and Gapbody are great choices for affordable, comfortable, and cute work out clothes. The GapFit Breathe long-sleeve T is perfect for this time of year. It keeps you warm, but is also available in bright colors to boost your mood.
I’ve found their Pure Body leggings to be perfect for yoga and pilates. They are super soft and sustain in sweaty times.
Athleta is another great brand. They offer petite, tall, and plus sizes. The Tinker Tank is perfect for those days when you don’t feel your best. Its slightly relaxed fit allows for comfort, but also a full range of movement.
Have a snack before leaving for parties–that way when the egg nog and black & white cookies come around, you won’t go wild! Safe choices for snacks are:
- wholegrain english muffin with 2 tablespoons of unsalted peanut or almond butter
- two Laughing Cow cheese wedges and 1/2 cup of grapes or a medium sized apple
- 3 ounces of hummus with baby carrots or 10 whole grain crackers
CHOOSE YOUR VICE
Would you rather a glass of Cabernet or a sugar cookie with frosting? Before you bite off the reindeer’s head, decide to make it an alcohol night or a sweet night–not both. Low calorie drinks include vodka and club soda with lime juice, Prosecco, Cava, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabarnet Sauvignon, Merlot, or a light beer such as Amstel. Stay away from dessert wines or anything with simple syrup, muddled fruit, or juices. Forget screwdrivers! The sugar in the orange juice DOES and WILL add up. As far as desserts–if there is a pure chocolate option, definitely choose that. Chocolate contains antioxidants and will give you a boost of dopamine, the hormone responsible for feelings of pleasure.
(Photo by Chris Gramley/Vetta)