Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Secrets to Being Fit and Fab:10 rules to Enjoying the Holidays

PHS Editor and Harlequin Historical Author Michelle Styles  Explains why she will be enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas with all the trimmings

Today is Thanksgiving, the annual food fest in the US and the real start of the holiday party season. It is also a time when people gain weight, feel guilty about gaining weight and eat a lot more than they should.
Last year when I was losing my weight, I worried about The Holidays. However, after Christmas, I discovered I had wasted energy worrying when it was quite simple.
The first rule is To Enjoy the Feasts. They are Special Occasions, not every day occurrences. Special Occasions are not a day for dieting. You don't want to feel deprived. A low calorie piece of pumpkin pie doesn't cut it and you are likely to go for richer stuff later in any case...
Second Eat what you want but not what you feel you have to. If you can't stand something, don't have it. Politely refuse it.  You can still like the person. Just explain you are full, are intolerant to the food etc. the bottom line is if you don't want to eat it, you don't have to.
Third Don't have seconds. If it is a feast, there will be more than enough dishes so you can have a little of everything. You will feel full by the end. It takes time for the signal to reach your brain.
Fourth Keep Well Hydrated. Thirst can seem like hunger.
Fifth Make sure you exercise. Now is not the time to slack on your exercise programme. Make sure you exercise the morning after a feast. It will help with the bloating.
Sixth If going out, eat some nutrient rich starchy carbs beforehand (my current fave is sweet potato mixed with corn). They kill cravings dead and make you less likely to reach for that second cupcake.
Seventh if you want to have a fast day -- have it the day before, rather than going to the meal/party hungry. Intermittent fasting is basically eating a day of very little (approx 500 calories) followed by eating normally.
Eighth, if you have eaten a little more than you should, have a little less the next day. Listen to your body.
Ninth  Stand away from the buffet table and concentrate on your fellow guests. Feast are not just about eating but reconnecting with people. Talk! It is harder to eat when you are deep in conversation. Remember never speak with your mouth full.
Tenth To repeat the first rule -- Enjoy the day. Never feel guilty. Guilt tends to make people eat more rather than less. What ever you gain will be temporary. You will not own that weight if you workout and go back to eating very healthy on the days which as not Feast or Party days.

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romances. She went from a US size 20 to a US size 4 in 2011 and has kept the weight off. You can read more about Michelle's books on

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