The Post-Holiday Guide To Preventing Weight Gain

December 27, 2011 · 16 comments

There are two things I look forward to on Christmas when it comes to indulging. My mother’s coffee cake for breakfast and grasshopper pie for dessert. Both are tradition and both are far from being healthy. Since I attempt to eat clean most days, it seems like I always eat too much. I never learn my lesson. However, I do know how to get back on track. Here is my Post Holiday Guide:

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Yesterday I did my strength training and today I’m going for an interval run. If you lack energy or enthusiasm, take a class at your gym like spinning. Since last night I was still feeling lethargic from all the sugar, I took a class called EQ 360:Fire. The instructor and fellow members pushed me harder than I would have on my own on the gym floor. I wasn’t a huge fan of the class but it was what I needed.

When I got home, I made a “Cobb” salad with the leftover honey baked ham from Christmas dinner. Avocados were on sale and I didn’t want to make a cheesy casserole. I used baked chicken, ham, avocado, egg white, blue cheese, tomato and onion with some balsamic vinaigrette. It was awesome.

On Christmas morning, I woke up and went for a 30-minute interval run (aka the booty call) before diving into breakfast. When I got back, I filled my plate with some crustless Quiche and slice of coffee cake. I went back for seconds and thirds.

My mom’s coffee cake really is amazing. I’m embarrassed to post the recipe because it really has zero nutritional value which is why we started making the Quiche a couple of years ago to go with it.

As for the Quiche, it’s amazing as well but I do not have the recipe. I’ll have to ask my mom since I think it is pretty easy to make.

As for the grasshopper pie, I do not have a picture of it, but I do have a picture my sister took of my having my first slice! It’s like mint ice cream with an Oreo crust but my mom makes the filling with Fluff, heavy whipping cream and Creme de Menthe. It’s honestly amazing and has been my favorite dessert since I can remember. I only have it on the Christmas and sometimes Easter but it’s my favorite food next to mango.

Questions of The Day:

  • Do you have a few favorite traditions that revolve around food in your family?

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers December 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Yup – I like that we eat peppermint ice cream on Christmas Eve. Not too heavy, but always sweet n’ satisfying!

I usually put a little bacon on my cobb salad, but I can see how that ham would be awesome as well. Yum!

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2 Kristy Doyle December 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Well, my birthday is on Christmas Day, so the one tradition that we have is birthday cake in the evening on Christmas. Of course, it’s ALWAYS my favorite, too (yellow cake with chocolate icing) and it’s my BIRTHDAY, so I have to have a slice!

The other thing (which isn’t really a tradition) is that there are always these really amazing chocolate covered pretzels laying around at Christmas time from this really great local candy place. They are full-sized pretzels covered with the most delicious chocolate. While they aren’t TERRIBLE (2 are 190 calories), I definitely overindulge because they are my favorites. Luckily I just have them once a year!

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3 Alex December 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Green bean casserole is my absolute favorite! My mom makes it with fresh green beans rather than frozen, and it’s absolutely delicious. I could literally eat an entire casserole on my own. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), she didn’t make the casserole this year as we ate Christmas dinner at a relative’s house. However, she has promised to make it for New Year’s Eve dinner, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m doing the 7 Day Slim Down in preparation for it :)

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4 Jay December 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

1500 kcal? That seems pretty low …

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5 Sarah December 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm

It first depends on how much you weigh. Second, this is not for long term weight loss, this is a “get back on track” plan. If your diet is a bank account and you have a certain amount of calories “to spend” week rather than day, if you spent the majority on just one day, you will not have as much to “spend” the other days if you want to stay on budget. Obviously, I’m not saying if you eat 6000 calories on Monday, don’t eat on Tuesday but you can afford to eat less the next few days than you would if you hadn’t indulged. This is what I do in between Christmas and the New Year. It keeps me in check. I aim for 1800 calories a day throughout the year, but am always 100 below or 200 above depending on the day!

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6 Katie G December 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm

I love holiday food…my favorites are my grandmother’s macaroni and cheese, stuffing, and my other grandmother’s lasagna she makes for Christmas dinner every year. Can’t forget about Christmas cookies! I continued to work out and went running on Christmas Day and taught a spin class the day after to try to keep the weight gain to a minimum. Once all of the leftovers are gone, I am starting the 7 Day Slim Down to ring in the New Year! The grasshopper cake sounds amazing!

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7 Jen@FoodFamilyFitness December 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm

It seems like every tradition in our family revolves around food!! I definitely ate enough this weekend, that I’m beyond ready to get back on track. I pinned your post-holiday guide that I will be using!!

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8 Claire December 27, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hi Sarah- I do like reading your blog, but I have to say your healthy habits are a bit extreme in my opinion. You act like two desserts is going to kill you. Personally, I eat dessert almost everyday, but still work out and I have maintained a healthy weight for as long as I can remember. I couldn’t imagine eating so cleanly like you do all the time. In my opinion, you only live once, and life is just too short to be so strict with a diet. Holidays are meant for indulgences, and if I want to eat a plate full of cookies, then I gladly will. In all honesty your blog kind of stresses me out which is why I have stopped reading it as frequently as I used to. The fact that you already have created a strict eating and workout plan in order to burn off the TWO desserts you ate is a little ridiculous. Even if you eat dessert, it all balances out if you continue to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle. This is not meant to be an unfriendly or hurtful comment, I’m just giving my opinion, but I think you’re giving some readers the wrong idea.

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9 Sarah December 27, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Hi Caroline, Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure where you read that I only ate two desserts. I simply said, I look forward to Christmas because my mom always makes coffee cake and grasshopper pie. One which is actually breakfast and one is dessert. That doesn’t mean I didn’t eat other things… I eat dessert pretty much daily as well, but I don’t post my lunch or dinner, so why would I post always my dessert? I do post recipes that I think people would like that are helpful. I did not restrict myself at all this holiday season, the fact that I only mentioned the “two desserts” is because I’ve been eating them my entire life. It’s not Christmas without them. My sister also made sugar cookies which I had but I didn’t photograph them and universally they all taste pretty much the same. I also had a few other desserts like toffee using saltines. I didn’t post about those either.

I agree with most of what you wrote and feel like my posts usually reflect that. I have probably posted what I eat in a day on my blog maybe once or twice. The only time I restrict myself is for photo shoots and if you were going to be in a sports bra on national television 14 days after a vacation on Nantucket while drinking every night, you’d probably do the same… I didn’t take your comment as unfriendly, but I just wanted to know where it says I only ate “two desserts” ? It’s frustrating to me when people who do not watch a video, make assumptions based on the title. I feel like you are making an assumption on my lifestyle based on a single post similarly.

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10 Viviana December 28, 2011 at 12:56 am

Well, I think it’s not always a matter of weight, eating clean is healthy for your body, period. Dessert everyday might not make you put on weight but all that sugar is not good for you for sure. I have naturally skinny friends who eat half a jar of Nutella by the spoon and are still lean and thin, but we’ll see in 10 years how their blood values look like ;) And yes, we only live once, but that shouldn’t give an excuse to give in to unhealthy habits. I love Martinis, but I don’t have one everyday just because we only live once! I do indulge occasionally without feeling too guilty about it though, because I know I eat healthy 80% of the time and that works with my lifestyle. It’s different for each and every one of us. I for example feel that the way you eat is one of the few aspects of your life that you can control, so it’s worth it to make an effort and eat healthy as much as possible. Plus, fitness is part of Sarah’s personal and professional life so it is understandable that she wants to stay on track after the holidays. I don’t see her habits to be ridiculous, I find all of her advice very valuable but of course we are all different so I apply what I feel I can do according to my lifestyle. I definitely don’t stress out, if anything, I feel more motivated to get out and do something before those calories find a comfy home on my hips! ;) just my 2 cents here.

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11 Allison December 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I remember my momma made a grasshopper pie yearsss ago but hasn’t since- it was delic! I should def ask her to make one again… She also used to make an ice cream yule log too- gah, she totally has been slacking lately :P

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12 Steph December 28, 2011 at 5:38 am

Hi Sarah, I always read your blog since I first saw you on youtube, but never comment; however, I’ve got a quick question for you. I’m a junior in college and I try and hit the gym 3x a week to do weight training, walk to class, and try to eat pretty clean, i’d say 80% of the time. I want to add more cardio into my routine, and run my first race this year. Plus it’ll really help me to tone up +/- 5 pds. or so and just become nice and lean with my weight training.

My question is- how did you first get into running/cardio? In college I have so many obligations with work, class, babysitting, interning, ect that on my off days from the gym i always feel so tired! When I run I try to motivate myself to do 20 minutes of 90 second intervals, but i always get so bored/tired 1/2 way through that I’ll do it a couple weeks and stop. What can you recommend to help me on my way to running a(at least) 5k? I also read toneitup and I want to start the booty calls, but when it comes to working out in the morning, or the night, i will always pick the night.

Any tips you have at all or even a link to an old post or something would be greatly appreciated :)
Thank you so much!
Stephanie

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13 Sarah December 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Hi Stephanie! So I ran track in HS but was a sprinter. The most I ran before college was like 2 miles – maybe 3. I worked my way up from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. I never ran longer than that until I graduated. I hate the treadmill though. I have to do intervals to keep it interesting. I would suggest spinning if you really get bored. To be honest, many fit professionals do not believe you NEED cardio to lose the “last 5.” Personally, I stay motivated with a good playlist and music station and running outside. Try getting a friend to maybe go with you and jog slow enough so you can have a conversation.
HOpe this helps!

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14 Steph December 28, 2011 at 10:37 pm

It does help a lot!! Gonna try some of that out for sure! Thank you so much for taking the time in your (I’m sure) hectic schedule to reply! :)

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15 Courtney December 30, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I get shin splints easily and usually warm up on the treadmill but 40-60 minutes would kill :/ what’s the next best cardio machine?

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