Our five tips for staying healthy during the holidays will help you avoid extra pounds this year.
No matter if you are trying to lose weight or even maintain a healthy lifestyle, the holidays can completely derail any success you have had. Here’s how to stay on track.
The holiday season invariably comes with holiday eating. It’s a time to celebrate, have fun, enjoy friends and family…and eat! It seems every culture and holiday tradition has a food or drink associated with it. Mincemeat pie, yule log, latke, figgy pudding, fruit cake, even hot chocolate and eggnog make up a tiny fraction of the goodies we like to celebrate with. We’ve decided to share some of our “staying healthy through the holidays” tips.
Healthy Holiday Tips
- Don’t deprive yourself of everything you enjoy. Even those with the strongest willpower can falter when they try to avoid all those yummy treats. Not only is it stressful, but it can also lead to binge eating if you do give in to the temptation. Choose one or two of your favorites or special traditions and allow yourself a small treat. A small morsel, when savored, can go a long way.
- Moderation is your key to success. Choose nutrient-dense meals when you can and plan ahead. If you know you will have a large family meal in the evening, choose smaller meals earlier in the day. You can have light lunch of steamed veggies and chicken breast or avocado on toast for breakfast.
- Find “healthy alternative” ingredients for your holiday recipes. Many of the most decadent recipes can be altered to include healthier ingredients without sacrificing taste. Depending on the recipe, things like applesauce can be swapped for sugar or oil, evaporated skim milk can be substituted for heavy cream, greek yogurt can replace sour cream. Mayo Clinic has a helpful guide.
- Find a chair away from the snack table. Mindless snacking and add calories you don’t even realize. It is very easy to graze on chips and dip, cheese and crackers, candies and cookies, even veggies and dips. They can all add hundreds of calories to your diet before you know it. It’s best to avoid it if you can and try to eat only at mealtime. The Centers for Disease Control offers great ideas for those with diabetes, but they’re helpful for everyone.
- Make exercise fun. Everyone’s schedule gets thrown off during the holidays. Time away from work, extra family visiting, parties to attend, they can all take priority over going to the gym or getting in your daily exercise. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip it entirely. There are lots of ways to get creative with your exercise. Go sledding with the kids. Climbing up hills, pulling sleds, and trudging through snow are great exercise. No snow? Offer to take the dog for a long walk. Even parking the car an extra block away can help you get in a little more exercise each day.
The holidays are full of fun and also a lot of stress, especially this year. Our best advice is to relax and enjoy the time with the family you are able spend time with. Allow yourself a small treat, but don’t overindulge. From all of us at VIVA Wellness, happy holidays to you!