Do you think it’s impossible to stay healthy during the holidays? As this holiday season approaches, many of us are preparing for big celebrations and parties. Yummy food, snacks, wine, beer and our favorite holiday beverages will be in full swing. There’s no other time of the year that people like to fill themselves up till their hearts are content – or the belly is bursting! 🙂
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can maintain or even gear your body up to drop a few pounds if you follow a few easy tips. And don’t worry – you’ll still be able to enjoy the holidays! I’m not about that deprivation life where you can’t enjoy yourself!
Here are my 5 Tips For a Healthy Holiday:
- Eat Snacks Mindfully – Let’s face it, snacks are plentiful this time of year (like they aren’t already throughout the year). Sitting near the snack table = unconsciously picking up snack after snack! Do yourself a favor and sit on the other side of the room. This way any enjoyment of the snacks will require a conscious effort of getting up and walking to the table. This provides you the opportunity to make a mindful decision about what you really need and want.
- Exercise, Exercise, Exercise! – If ever there was a time of the year to get your exercise on, it’s now. Not just because of the extra food and drink temptations but I believe it’s important to finish the year strong! Whether you’re creating new habits or maintaining existing habits, don’t go immobile this time of year. You don’t have to run a marathon (although if you prefer that, enjoy!), join a gym or anything like that. A brisk walk outside around the block a few times does wonders. If it’s too cold for that, alternate between 10-20 squats and 20-30 jumping jacks every hour. You can do the squats in the bathroom at work and no one will ever know. You’re not looking to burst into a full-out sweat, just to get your heart rate up slightly.
- Eat More Whole Foods – Go for an extra serving of whole fruits, veggies and lean protein when making your plate. This leaves less room for the more fattening foods like mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes and desserts. You’ll still feel full and satisfied but happy you didn’t overindulge on too many slices of pie. And of course, avoid fatty and fried foods (they taste good, but you know they aren’t good for you!)
- Drink A Lot Of Water Throughout The Day – You already know your body needs water to stay hydrated. A simple tip for easily cutting back on calories and sweets – drink a glass of water 20 minutes before your meal and 20 minutes after – especially if you’re thinking of getting seconds! Water will make you feel more full and tell your brain that you’ve had enough food, saving yourself pounds and that sluggish, heavy feeling that comes with eating too much.
- Eat In Smaller Portions – No, I’m not suggesting you measure your portions! Eating smaller portions throughout the day (accompanied by the right amounts of water as indicated above) allows you try all the things you love without overeating. Consider splitting a piece of pie or cake with your spouse, child, family member or friend so you aren’t eating a full portion.
As you can see, with a little mindfulness and a few easy strategies you can keep healthy during the holiday season, just like any other time of the year! Cheers to you!