December 28, 2018
We all know the Holidays are filled with fun, family and FOOD… Yes, lots and lots of social gatherings, celebration and chocolate (among many other things. Many of us we wait all year for this time to come around, and when it does, we want to enjoy it! And you should, but you can also be smart and look for ways to not through your year long efforts out the window.
Here are some tips for you on how to stay healthy during the Holidays without missing out on the fun:
Yes, it’s important to share these moments with friends and family, and there will be plenty of food around the tables. Allow yourself to indulge a little, but limit your portions. Stand last in line if you’re at a buffet style meal or potluck, maybe by the time you get there food won’t look so tempting or some of the creamier stuff will be gone! Make sure you’re well hydrated so you’ll feel full with less. And focus on people, not on the food. You can have a small taste of what you want. Remember the goodies will be around 365 days a year, you don’t have to eat them all as if this was your last week on earth.
Rather than sitting in front of the television set when you have some free time, and being influenced by the numerous commercials that constantly market foods, Spend time with your loved ones (which is what the Holidays should be all about) and GET ACTIVE. It might not be your average workout, but try to get out and move for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy the outdoors, go for walks this week while it’s milder. Hit the slopes for a New Years getaway. If you are headed for vacation to a sunnier spot, pack your running shoes. Take the stairs and walk instead of elevators, electric walkways or staircases at malls or airports, take advantage of every opportunity to burn off extra calories. Whatever your fitness style and level, don’t let excuses get the best of you, you’ll be proud of yourself and be glad you did when next year rolls around and you look and feel good. We loved this ideas on 15 foolproof tips for active holidays.
If you are hungry, fill up on protein and veggies as protein increases your metabolism by up to 20% and veggies take more calories to digest than what they contain. Don’t skip any of your scheduled meals. Hunger is your worst enemy and will make you eat or order things you usually wouldn’t. If you skip meals in preparation for a family gathering and the buffet of food set out at a holiday party, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Remember your breakfast, studies show people who eat breakfast (even more if it’s low in sugar), will typically eat significantly less food and have more stable energy levels than those who do not.
It’s hard to control what people will serve at their dinner table, but you can control what’s in your house. Know which foods trigger a binge and try to keep these food out of the house. Don’t take home unhealthy leftovers and send everyone with a doggy bag when you’re the host, especially desserts and tempting, creamy, high calorie recipes your grandma makes each year!
As I said before, when our body is dehydrated your brain confuses thirst for hunger, and we tend to overeat, when what we really needed is water. When you’re well hydrated you have a sense of fullness that helps in consuming less food. Alcohol, as well as caffeine, will dehydrate you. So limit your alcohol consumption, which adds numerous calories that will be hard to burn up.
Whether it is a cute holiday dress for the girls, or a new muscle baring shirt for the guys, once you have in your mind that you want to wear your “hot” outfit for a particular reunion or party, you will be less likely to stuff your face. Since this is the Holidays, typically you will have at least one of these every ten days or so. Trying out your skinny clothes reminds your one of the many reasons why you like to eat healthy and stay in shape. And, above all, don’t buy bigger sizes when you shop. Trying to stay in the same size will encourage you to watch what you eat and exercise regularly.
The best part about making these changes in December, possibly the toughest time of all to focus on diet and exercise, is that if you can pull it off now, you can surely manage it the other 11 months. You don’t want to be a New Year’s revolutionary, showing up in January at the gym only to slack off in February. Just don’t feel like you have to do this alone, bring along some likeminded friends and share your accomplishments.
Not saying it will be easy! But it will be worth every little and big effort!