Day 24 of 25 Days of Fitness: 7 Steps to be a Guilt-Free Guest

By Kate Horney

Instead of letting the holidays take over our schedules and our waist-bands (hello, feasting season!)- let’s take a different approach together.

If you’re a host preparing for one last (and most likely large) holiday meal, check out my 3 secrets to slim hosting from yesterday.  Today, let’s have a little more fun and move out of the kitchen (you know I hate to cook) and into the room where the magic (and belt- loosening happens)…

7 BEST tips for an enjoyable and guilt-free family feast:

  1. Start with a fat loss friendly breakfast.  My mornings before a feast always include lots of water. They also include a hearty morning meal.  In coaching hundreds of women from all over the world I’ve found that the majority of us (myself included) don’t do well with the “I’m saving all my calories for the big meal” thing.  It’s a bad idea. If you’re ravenous and dehydrated at dinnertime, you’ll probably overdo it and feel some major regret.  Enjoy a fat loss friendly breakfast first (mushroom, spinach and egg white omelette with a side of blueberries!) and you’ll be more likely to enjoy (but not over-do) a guilt free holiday dinner later.
  2. Plan a pre-feast workout.  If you’re hosting, you’ll most likely likely be moving around all day- cooking and getting your home ready guests. But if you’re the one who has the privilege of simply attending the feast, chances are you have the day off.  If that’s the case, take a walk in the morning, and if you can, try to exercise 1 hour before and/or after a large meal. Getting a good fat loss friendly workout in prior to a big meal helps create an environment where calories can go towards building muscle rather than storing fat.  Increased muscle = increased metabolism.  So if you’re going to have extra calories that day, the very least you can do is put them to good use! 🙂
  3. Bring a dish. Check in with the host ahead of time and find out what you can contribute, then whip up something guilt-free and delicious. (Vanilla Macadamia Nut Cheesecake, anyone?) Your host will appreciate the help, and you’ll know that you have at least one fat loss friendly option that you can really enjoy in no matter what else is served.
  4. Don’t arrive hungry!  It’s always wise to drink plenty of water and have a small snack with protein before your big meal.  If you show up starving, you’ll immediately start grazing on appetizers and then pounce once the meal is served. By eating a small snack before you arrive, you’ll keep hunger, energy and cravings balanced and can make better decisions when it’s feasting time.
  5. Survey before you serve. Check out your options, and consider what’s actually worth indulging on. Then fill your plate with lean meat (YAY turkey breast!) and veggies (ones that aren’t loaded with cream sauce or butter) before you tackle the decadent stuff. Part of achieving success is attaining fat loss that’s sustainable.  If you can’t make it a lifestyle, you’re not going to keep the fat loss.
  6. Drink water & don’t over-do cocktails.  If you choose to enjoy a couple of cocktails, that’s fine… just make sure you drink your water as well. (Read: Female Fat Loss and Alcohol) Water is a much better choice for a guilt-free feast.  Research has shown that drinking water before a large meal not only increases caloric burn but also help us stay fuller longer.  In addition, it’s basic but it’s true- hydration is key for fat loss.  When you don’t drink enough water, your body will hold on to water.  In addition, dehydration leads to fatigue and increased cortisol levels.
  7. Enjoy your favorites! It is a special occasion, so don’t deprive yourself… just don’t go crazy with the amounts. Once you have a good base of protein and fiber in front of you, add small servings of the seasonal goodies you love.  Are you a stuffing girl? Grab a spoon full. Have a heart for mashed potatoes? Add a dollop to your plate. And when it comes to dessert, have a small portion of your favorite with a cup of tea or coffee.  Don’t think of indulging as “cheating” or feel guilty for a food you ate.  Enjoy every bite and know you’re allowed to indulge occasionally.  But remember, this is the exception not the rule, and make sure you survey the offerings (Tip #4) and pick something that’s really worth indulging on.

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