Extra pounds and the holidays seem to go hand-in-hand. All of a sudden, one piece of pie turns into two, that extra portion of mashed potatoes piles slightly higher than planned, and those holiday cocktails are too tasty to turn down. Now, here I sit, pants a bit snug and feeling guilty for over-indulging. Ugh! Sound familiar? As a Butterball Turkey Talk-Line expert, Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer I make sure to enjoy the holidays and get back to pre-holiday pant size. The secret? It’s called… routine! Getting back to a healthy eating and physical activity routine after the holidays will allow your body’s metabolism to normalize and those pesky extra holiday pounds will drop right off.
Healthy Eating Routine
Healthy eating means including three balanced meals per day with one to two healthy snacks. Following the “healthy plate” model at meal times will keep your calories down, keep you feeling full, and provide all the nutrients your body needs.
*Load up ½ of your plate with non-starchy vegetables (e.g., broccoli, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, tomatoes, and mushrooms).
*Next, fill ¼ of your plate lean protein (e.g., turkey, chicken breast, fish, etc.). Butterball Turkey Bacon is a great option for breakfast!
*Fill that last ¼ of your plate with starches or grains (e.g., rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, corn, peas, and dried beans).
*Finally, round out your meal with one serving of fruit and one serving of low-fat dairy.
Seems like a lot of food, right?! A roadblock I typically run into with a healthy post-holiday eating routine is all of the leftovers and desserts hanging around. To pitch or not to pitch? I say save them! I simply use the healthy plate model as a guide to enjoy my leftovers – I fill out each section of my plate and am sure to load up on non-starchy vegetables!
Physical Activity Routine
Physical activity plays a major role in restoring our metabolism and burning off those extra holiday pounds. It is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week. Aerobic activities are big calorie burners and include anything that gets your heart rate up for an extended period of time (walking, jogging, bike riding, swimming, dancing, etc.) My favorite aerobic activities are Zumba (which is a super fun aerobic dance class) and jogging.
Our body often confuses thirst with hunger. Try drinking a large glass of water before each meal and at least 8-10, 8oz glasses of water throughout the day. This will help stave off hunger and keep your body and skin supple and youthful!
Now that you’ve enjoyed your holiday, find your routine and get back in the groove! Share your healthy eating or exercise tips below!