The holidays are full of get togethers, parties, sweets, treats, and other opportunities to overindulge. Here are a few suggestions to keep this holiday season a healthy one:
Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season
Exercise: During the holidays, time is often limited and exercise gets put low on the “to do” list. Make it a point to do something rather than nothing—a 20-minute workout will still burn calories and help keep your energy up. You can make a shorter workout a more productive workout by increasing the intensity or adding more weight to your strength training exercises. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting or changing your exercise routine.
Water: Don’t forget the water! There are many different opinions on how much water we should be drinking every day but the most commonly recommended is eight, 8-ounce glasses (the 8×8 rule). Water helps to fill you up; so to help prevent overeating at holiday gatherings, drink 8-16 ounces of water 30-minutes before eating.
Eat something nutritious and filling before you go to a party. You can still enjoy the food that’s served but you won’t have the desire to eat as much. Also, don’t skip meals in order to “save” the calories for a party later on. You will be hungry by the time you get to the function and be more prone to make poor food choices, overeat, and go back for seconds and thirds.
Opt for more nutritious and lower calorie choices at parties. For example, select raw veggies over chips and dip—if you do have dip, use it sparingly; order wine spritzers over high-calorie alcoholic beverages.
Make healthier, lower calorie substitutions in your holiday cooking. Substitute skim milk and less butter in mashed potatoes, use reduced fat cheese, sour cream, etc.
Don’t deny yourself holidays treats just limit them. By eating balanced meals and nutritious snacks you are less likely to want the holiday treats but, if you do, have a bite—or even a piece. Just remember to limit these treats to several times per week at most.
Enjoy the holidays—and even a few treats—and still start off the new year healthy!