It can happen to the most strong-willed of us: a holiday rolls along with the attendant sweets, snacks, parties, and pals, and before we know it our diet – and the results we’ve worked so hard to achieve – are out the window. Then we inevitably end up kicking ourselves for days afterward while we get back on track. For some people, it’s a vicious cycle that goes year-round. Well, we’re taking this Easter as an opportunity to get some tips from the OVICX team so we can have our cake and eat it, too.
- Indulge Yourself with the Best
We’ve all got our favorites. Mine happens to be the Cadbury® Crème Egg. That sugary center of ooey gooey goodness makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. Maybe you go for M&M’s® or Reese’s® peanut butter cups, or maybe you’re one of those incomprehensible Peep® lovers. Whatever you prefer, you should go for it! The real trouble comes when we find ourselves eating treats not because they’re our favorite, but just because they’re there. Tin-foil wrapped eggs made of mediocre chocolate, jars of too-old jelly beans, and weird confectionary birds (I really don’t mean to pick on the Peep® peoples) are all Easter staples, but they are high in calories and low in the actual pleasure they impart (at least for me). Say no thanks to those questionable treats so you can indulge in your favorite without guilt and without too much impact on your diet.
- To Control Your Calories, Control Your Portions
There’s a not-so-subtle difference between indulging yourself and over-indulging yourself. I can have one – maybe two – crème eggs, but if I’m snarfing 4 or 5 that’s a problem. Don’t go wild when you indulge. The trick is to manage your portions. It’s a lot easier to do if our treats come in discrete, easily measurable packages. It’s far simpler to maintain proper portions if we have a bag (not family size, please) of Smarties® versus gradually picking little handfuls from a large bowl. If you find yourself in front of your treat of choice in a hard-to-measure form, hold off until you can get the same thing in a pack that you know the size of.
- Drink! Drink! Drink!...Water
Drink more water. It’s a cliché piece of dietary advice at this point, but the reason we hear about it so often is because it works. Drinking water helps our bodies burn through calories more efficiently, with some studies indicating we burn up to a whopping 30% more in the hour after having a 17 oz. serving. Not only that, but water fills us up! It’s got zero calories, and having a glass before a meal (or Easter feast) has been shown to decrease the total number of calories you consume. So get hydrated and stay hydrated!
- Treat Exercise as a Celebration
Yes, exercise is a good way to burn off calories. Yes, exercise is a good way to keep ourselves healthy and fit. But yes, it can also feel like a chore…if we look at it as one. The number one tip from our team at OVICX is to change the way you look at working out.
“It’s just a joy for me,” says Rediet, one of the OVICX App instructors. “I feel so much gratitude every time I get on the bike. I have this body and when I let myself really go I can fall into this sort of trance. It’s an amazing feeling. I can’t really put it into words.”
Alex Korn, an OVICX App instructor who leads fartlek runs, expressed something similar. “Running is play. It’s the freedom of movement, of speed, of control. I can push myself to a limit and move beyond it, find a new limit, slow myself down and relax. Absolutely, it’s a celebration.”
The real tip here is to get on your bike or tread and just let your body do its thing. What greater celebration of life could there be than healthy living?
So go ahead and indulge yourself with your favorite holiday sweet. If you follow the tips outlined above, it can actually help you on your fitness journey. Enjoying our favorite foods guilt-free and knowing that we’re doing so healthily ought to be part of a healthy life.
Now I’m going to go have a crème egg…or two.