Take a holiday break – not a binge - East Valley Tribune: Living Well

Take a holiday break – not a binge

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NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her Ahwatukee-based company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals and groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit www.azphysix.com.

Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 7:30 am | Updated: 9:56 am, Mon Aug 13, 2012.

Here we go — November. ’Tis the season for food, food and more food!

We sail right out of our candy corn-induced, Halloween sugar comas into the nap-inducing effects of turkey and all the trimmings. Just as our stomachs manage to process the gravy and stuffing, we are inundated with marshmallow-dunking fondue fountains, insidious people-shaped cookies, Aunt Mavis’ once-a-year pie, copious amounts of alcohol and more turkey! Then come the New Year’s Eve parties and New Year’s Day football food orgies.

Is it humanly possible to not gain a kazillion pounds by Jan. 2? Yes, dear friends, it is. You’ve just got to be smart about it — and I’m not talking raw-broccoli smart, either.

In the days leading up to big food events, save up some calories. Seriously. Go light on food, all the while reminding yourself something really good is coming. The day of the event, opt for a light breakfast (to take the edge off; we don’t want to completely go off the deep end here) and start “planning your plate.” Really get into it. I like to imagine a 50-foot buffet table filled with items I dearly love: liquid chocolate, chocolate baked goods and just plain chocolate. Anticipation is most of the fun.

Use these special occasions to eat things you hardly ever get. Don’t waste your precious calories on the mundane. You want exciting things — the stuff you won’t see again until next year. Do I want a plain, grocery store brownie? No way. Gimmee that homemade, cheesecake, turtle-nut-caramel, dark chocolate, 52-layer brownie!

Following that strategy, watch your portion sizes (duh). Try a sliver of pie instead of whacking off half the pie. Then you won’t feel conspicuous when your paper plate collapses. Besides, someone else might want some.

Once you’ve made your fabulous choices — and not caught the ire of other pie-lovers — move on. If you are anything like me, just the smell of sugary goodness is a siren song. Go into the other room (away from the food) and enjoy your once-a-year, tasty treats.

Yes, you will down more calories than usual in one sitting — but you’ve saved up for it and won’t do it again for a while. You might gain a pound or two (we are not aiming for 10), but you will smile, remember how awesome it tasted, and then just get back on the straight and narrow.

It’s not the end of the world — and that pie was dang good.

• Shannon Sorrels is an NSCA-certified personal trainer and owner of Physix LLC in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or www.azphysix.com

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