Top Tips to Have Your Cake and Keep Your Waistline

Thank you to Liza Palmer for inviting me to participate in her 

"12 days of Christmas" blog series!  It was a joy :-)

The 12 Days of Christmas Project continues and Day 9 has Pilates instructor, Paige!

I met Paige back in April when my Mom and I decided to start doing Pilates.  It's one of those stories.  I went on Yelp, found Paige and it's ... well, I can't imagine my life without her now, quite frankly.  She's this rousing, high-fiving, constantly smiling, ridiculously talented whirlwind that just makes everyone around her better.  She's what true health looks like.  And after the year I've had healthwise, she was the antidote.

Without further ado:

Paige's Top Tips to Have Your Cake

and Keep Your Waistline, too.

Don't worry, I'm not here to suck all the fun out of the holidays.  Just the opposite, actually. I love to indulge, but I prefer to do it without the nasty side-effects of guilt and weight gain. 

Here is my system for indulging...and it doesn't include willpower.


1.  Start your morning off right

Your morning sets the tone for the day. Enjoy a healthy breakfast, drink plenty of water, and get in a morning meditation or workout. A consistent routine will help you function optimally as the holiday chaos intensifies around you.


2.  Keep the best, dump the rest

Decide what you absolutely can't live without. I'm a sucker for appetizers and red wine, so I forgo the sweets. (don't slap me!) 


3. Be the slowest eater your town has ever known

The season is really about appreciating all the good in your life.  We are pleasure-centered beings, which means that indulging is a normal part of our existence.  However, it takes a nasty turn when we use  "the holiday season" as an excuse to go off the deep end.  

Slow down and give yourself a chance to enjoy the entire experience.  You'll end up eating less and feeling more satisfied. It's easier on your digestive system too (a.k.a. less bloating).


4.  Eat your dessert, but have your salad too

Don't abandon your good eating habits  Swapping out healthy food for unhealthy food is a slippery insulin wave waiting to happen.  Stick to your normal diet, adding a few treats in here and there, and your body will do just fine processing the extra calories.


5. The three bite rule

The best flavor is in the first three bites, because that's when our taste buds are their most sensitive.  For example, have you ever had pineapple or grapefruit upon waking?  The flavor is so intense because you haven't eaten all night so your taste buds are more sensitive.  

You'll also notice that this sensation quickly wears off.  My advice--don't waste your calories on food you're not fully tasting.  Serve yourself a smaller portion and enjoy every bite.

                 (   Brown Butter Cookies      . .. please acquaint yourself  )

                (Brown Butter Cookies... please acquaint yourself)


6.  Take a knee, wild child

LOVE to party, so I empathize with how hard this can one be to implement. Let me assure you, it's worth it.  

Drink 2 full glasses of water between each cocktail. Wait...don't chalk me up to being a Grinch just yet.  You can drink water and still feel like you're part of the festivities. 

Number 7, I know you’ve got my back.


7. Bring a six pack of sparkling water

Drink it straight from the bottle if you're a beer drinker, out of a wine glass, or add a garnish to a high ball glass and pretend it's a cocktail.   

Remember, we're pleasure-centered, so make your water drinking as much of an "experience" as you do when you drink alcohol.  That way, you won't feel like you're missing out on the festivities. 

Beware: Don't make a big deal about this one.  If you do, you may get a lot pressure from others. It won't be an issue if you don't make it one.   


8. Move that body

Even a mellow walk around the block after dinner can aid in digestion and help prevent fat gain.


9.  Keep Yourself Accountable

Plan a workout relatively early in the morning. Or sign yourself up for a class so that if you don’t go, you lose your money. This way, you'll drink and eat less, and you'll get to bed earlier. Or else....


10. Party's over

If you hosted, don't keep the leftovers. And if you're a guest, don't take leftovers home. 

The party is over, so get back to your regularly scheduled program. 

By the way, if you went full tilt at last night's party, I hope you had fun.  Please don't waste your time and energy stressing about it. That stress response raises cortisol levels, which leads to weight gain. MOVE. ON.  

Small consistent choices every day help us achieve our goals. 

I hope you have fun experimenting with these tips.  Please share in the comments below if you have some of your own "nougats".

Happy holidays to you and yours!