"Let this be the year that’s different from all the others; the year where you actually begin healthier and fitter than all the previous years combined."
by Karen Repassy
I know how it feels to go into the new year feeling puffy, tired and depressed because the scale showed I gained five pounds — or more. However, with just a few adjustments to my holiday game plan, the last three years have been completely different. It is possible to go into the new year feeling healthy.
These are tried-and-true tips that have been successfully implemented by me as well as many of my clients.
1. Start with protein. So you’re scoping out the buffet setup at a holiday party, and you’re contemplating what to eat. I’m betting there’s a turkey there. Or a ham. Or some shrimp cocktail. Start with the protein first. Protein is, by nature, very filling. And by filling up on lean protein, you’ll avoid other — potentially more destructive — food items at the buffet.
2. Add veggies. Find the vegetables that are prepared healthy, such as a veggie platter of raw vegetables, salad (but skip the croutons and bacon bits and use a little olive oil and vinegar for dressing), roasted/baked vegetables, green beans and Brussels sprouts, and fill up the remainder of your plate with the veggies. The combination of protein and vegetables will leave you feeling satiated.
3. Bring your own healthy dish. Many times, the parties you attend throughout the holidays are potluck style. This is a great opportunity for you to contribute something healthy to the table. Bring whatever your weakness is. If it is dessert, prepare a healthy dessert. If it is the side dish, prepare your favorite vegetable cooked in a healthy way.
4. Don’t go hungry. Instead of showing up with your stomach growling and mouth salivating, take action to ensure you arrive in the exact opposite position. How? Easy. Have something healthy before you arrive. Have a protein shake before you go or snack such as almonds and apples. It is easier to say “no” when we keep hunger and cravings at bay.
5. Do not drink calories. Calories in beverages are wasted calories. They do nothing to increase satiety or fullness. If it has calories, don’t drink it — plain and simple. If you’d like some variety beyond plain water, add fruit to your water, have unsweet tea or seltzer water with a slice of lemon. As soon as you arrive, before you do anything else, pour yourself a big glass of water, drink it down and wait 15 minutes before eating anything.
Let this be the year that’s different from all the others; the year where you actually begin healthier and fitter than all the previous years combined.
Karen Repassy is a professional nutritionist and certified yoga instructor at Winter Garden Yoga in historic downtown Winter Garden.