Goal: Staying Lean
Thanksgiving weekend will be just the beginning. Soon, you'll be invited to a multitude of holiday parties, each teeming with cocktails, cocktail weenies, pies, pudding and an otherwise tantalizing lineup of indulgent, high-calorie foods. That's great, but without a better strategy and a little self-discipline, you could start 2012 bloated and pot-bellied. Some people give over to this as a foregone conclusion - the cost of doing business, so to speak. Believe it or not, it is possible to navigate your social agenda without incurring additional inches to your waistline. Here's a few crisis management tips to help get you through.
You know what they say about an ounce of prevention? Well, that also applies to salt-, sugar- and fat-laden buffet tables. Here's what to do in the hours before the storm to mitigate the effects of the less-than-ideal menu at the party.
1-2 HOURS PRIOR | EXERCISE: This one may seem obvious but its benefits may be greater than you think. Set aside an hour before you start getting ready to put yourself through the paces of a vigorous workout, one consisting mainly of multi-joint moves performed at high intensity with little to no rest between exercises. Studies show that this type of activity has an appetite-suppressing effect in the hours preceding the workout. Here's a simple example:
. Bodyweight squat - 50
. High-knee run - 30 sec.
Perform as a circuit. Repeat entire circuit 4-5 times total, resting 1 minute between circuits.
RELATED: Read here for 12 CAN'T-MISS AB WORKOUTS
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30 MINUTES PRIOR | HYDRATE: Downing at least 16 ounces of water before meals has been shown to reduce the overall number of calories you consume because it makes you fuller faster. Bring a bottle (or two) with you on the drive and pound some it before ringing the doorbell.
At the party, there are a few easy precautions you can take to minimize your caloric intake.
GO RED: If you're going to have an adult beverage, pour yourself a glass of dry red. Red wine contains a bounty of heart healthy compounds and is relatively low-impact in the calorie department compared to your common mixed cocktail.
EAT MEAT & VEGGIES: It's fine to eat but make protein your focus. High-protein plates will fill you up faster while also providing your muscles key aminos to recover from your earlier workout. The veggies will also help fill you up without shooting your calorie count through the roof.
CHAT: It's a social gathering, so socialize. The more time you spend chatting, the less time you'll spend piling junk into your pie hole.