Fit or Fat Holiday Season?

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I have been really working with the idea of my “Bank Account” lately. No not my savings account, although my husband does want to have a sit down talk about “long term financial planning” over the holidays (I’m pretty sure that is code for “Sara needs to cut her Lululemon budget.”)

I’m talking about my food/fitness bank account.

Awhile back, after I read Naturally Thin, I talked about this Bank Account concept in this post. I think it’s a great concept, especially at this time of year. The philosophy here is that you have a bank account when it comes to food and fitness. As you make choices throughout the day your account goes up and down. At the end of the day you have to balance your books, so to speak. So, if you’ve chosen something indulgent for lunch, you can have a light and lean dinner to balance your account. If you’ve done a high intensity workout, you may need more fuel than on a day when you have not worked out. This is an excellent way to view eating and fitness – MUCH healthier mindset than indulging a bit and then letting yourself blow off the rest of the day because, “what’s the point, I already blew it….”

This time of year it is imperative to remind yourself of your account balance. As we approach the holidays (which is also when my birthday comes along) I’m trying to be very aware of where my indulgences will lie. It’s easy to get swept away by events and parties and just resign yourself to starting over tomorrow/next week/next month/next YEAR.

Here’s the deal with that kind of thinking – it will land you with the majority of Americans who gain 3-10 pounds over the holidays. Yes, the average American will gain about 7 pounds in the next 6 weeks. Will that be you?

If you ask any of my current weight loss clients what direction they are leaning, their decisions and commitments are unanimous. They are not about to give in to the holidays. They have worked too hard through blood, sweat & tears to find their fitness. There is no way they are going to sacrifice that for 6 whole weeks. That said, they’ll indulge a bit here and there over the next few weeks. Then they’ll commit 110% to their workouts to balance their accounts.

Here’s a few ways my clients and I will be balancing our accounts to stay on top of our goals in the coming weeks:

1. Stay consistent with workouts. This is the time of year when my classes come to a screeching halt. People give up before they even start eating Thanksgiving dinner. Not ok. KEEP SWEATING. You will never regret a good workout. And you will enjoy your food a million times more when you feel you’ve made room for it in your bank account. You will also hugely leverage your metabolism by keeping it FIRED UP over the next 6 weeks. Why would you let it go to sleep by skipping workouts at a time when you’re liking eating more than any other time of year?? That’s nonsense!

Here is a fantastic video workout I posted last Thanksgiving. Do three rounds FOR TIME:
50 Jack Presses
10 Jump Squats
10 Tricep Push Ups
50 Mountain Climbers
10 Reverse Lunges/Fwd Kicks per leg
10 T Push Ups
20 Feet Up Crunches
10 Airplanes
Time yourself. Try to be faster each rounds.

Gluttonous Plate

2. Be in charge of the menu. Since most of my clients are moms, they are hosting their families Thanksgiving dinner. So they get to pick and choose what to serve. There are a million ways to keep holiday meals healthy – even if it means just adding a couple more vegetable options to your normal gluttonous dishes. Make yourself fill up on veggies and protein and then allow yourself to have small servings of the things that make holiday meals special to you (me: stuffing!!!)

Yes, I heart stuffing. Huge heart! I never ate it growing up, as I thought it looked like disgusting mush. Now it is all I live for in a holiday meal. That said, here are some awesome gluten free stuffing alternatives if that’s recipe you’re looking to lighten.

3. If you are going to someone else’s dinner, at the very least, offer to bring a veggie side. I’m bringing broccoli to my sister-in-laws. I asked if I could bring beets and she gently suggested “something green”. I think the other 20 people at the table would agree with her. FINE. Hmphh. I will make a boatload of broccoli sauteed in olive oil garlic and splash of balsamic. I will fill 1/3-1/2 of my plate with that before I touch the stuffing. Promise! And because I’ll be so veggie full, I will forego my dinner roll (to save room for dessert in my account – always planning ahead….) This is how my weight loss clients are planning too. Always saving for the things they know they will enjoy most, not just whatever happens to be in front of them.

4. Dessert – very important topic for everyone. For me, my birthday and Thanksgiving happen to fall in the same week. I have some serious dessert juggling to do if I want to keep my account balanced. The good thing is I don’t care for pumpkin pie. Oh and minced meat pie? That is not even real food – what is that nastiness (sorry if it’s your fave, I just don’t get it)??? For the most part, I don’t open my dessert line of credit unless there’s chocolate involved. In fact, I don’t really consider any dessert without chocolate real dessert.

For my birthday, I have grand plans that involve a large piece of cake with ice cream and hot fudge I’ll be sharing with my friend as we celebrate our birthdays together next weekend. This is our tradition and I look forward to it 364 days a year. As for Thanksgiving dessert, I had the good fortune of being asked to bring one to my sis-in-laws, along with my non-beet veggies. I will bring SkinnyGirl chocolate cake. Yes, I know it’s not Thanksgiving-esque at all. But, it’s dang good cake and I’m pretty sure no one will complain. And honestly, I don’t care if they do – it’s chocolate cake, for Pete’s sake, something is wrong with anyone who complains about that any day of the year. And selfishly, this will allow me to have a bit of guilt free dessert (yes, it’s all about me.)

5. Alcohol – this can be the toughest part for folks. I have all my weight loss clients look ahead to the week and know where their indulgences lie. Just like food and dessert, know when you will have a drink or two. SCHEDULE IT. It may sound neurotic, but those alcohol calories add up FAST and the accompanying bloat and decreased will power just make it not worth indulging in more than once a week. A mixed drink can have up to 500 calories. Given that the average sized women should be eating 1500-1800 calories a day, a 500 calorie drink WILL make or break your day.

The biggest lesson here is PLANPLAN your indulgences, PLAN to eat clean outside of said indulgences, PLAN to keep your metabolism on fire with consistent workouts. Be rad and inspire those around you to do the same. Share below any tips, tricks or healthy recipes you’ll be using to keep your account balanced!



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