A Practical Guide to Being Healthy During that Special Time of Year
The holidays are a time of togetherness, gift-giving and indulging … especially in sweets and other goodies. Don’t deprive yourself completely during this time. Below are tips to enjoying the holiday season without feeling guilty when January 2nd comes along.
- DO something active everyday During the holidays, it may be tough to find the time for the gym. When you do a workout, work a little harder. If you can’t make it to the gym, be creative and work out at home. On the off days, go for a short walk or dance around the house. (Better yet, dance around the house while you’re cleaning to prepare for guests!) Even if you don’t usually work out, try going for a short walk or bring a friend or family member to gab with and you’ll make it an even longer walk. Who knows, maybe you’ll keep it up after the holidays, too!
- DO try eating a salad each day (or whenever possible).Getting in all your veggies and healthy food can be tough any time of the year, but especially during the holiday season when you’re rushed, have temptation EVERYWHERE and are more prone to lounging around on the couch watching Christmas movies. Whenever you have the option of eating a salad, eat one! Eat a salad before you indulge in tasty cookies and cakes. Whenever you are dining out at a restaurant, choose a salad if possible. At the lunch bar, make a salad. Buy prepackaged salads from the grocery store and add a protein. You’d be surprised how far one salad a day will go… especially in aiding in your health during the holidays.
- DO eat more lean protein! During the holidays, some people may go into a sugar overload. We start drinking hot chocolate and eating sugary sweets. Try to make it a point to focus on more protein and fewer carbs when you can. Maybe you can skim on the rice for dinner and just eat your protein and veggies if you plan on eating a piece of pie for dessert. Drink some skim milk with the cookies. Try to get in more protein when you can to counter all the sweets you may eat.
- DON’T deprive yourself. Don’t completely avoid cookies or any festive Holiday tradition because of the fat grams. Just be smart about things. Pick and choose what means most to you. Do you not LOVE eggnog? Don’t just drink it because it is the season! You’ll just be wasting the hundreds of calories in one glass and if you don’t enjoy drinking it, is it really worth it? Do you LOVE sugar cookies? Eat one or two. Pair it up with skim milk so you won’t eat too many. Don’t eat a brownie just because it’s there. Think about if you really want it. Eat, drink and be merry! Don’t eat, drink and be remorseful because you ate that piece of fruitcake that you don’t even like. Pick and choose your indulgences!
- DO be aware of your weight and/or how your clothes fit. There is nothing worse than going to try on your favorite jeans and not being able to zip them up. Everyone has been there once or twice and it’s okay, but maybe it’s time to monitor all the “extras” you’ve been eating. Maybe it’s time to up the workouts or to start exercising regularly again. Try to take control of your weight before your weight takes control of you. Don’t wait until the first or second week of January to do something about it.
- DO stay on track. Follow the above guidelines and don’t give up. Eating a salad every single day may not be practical for everyone, but keep in mind to eat at least one or two healthy, nutritional meals a day. That IS practical. If you eat an extra piece of pie one day, just get on track the next. Keep at it
- DON’T be too hard yourself! Above all, don’t be too hard on yourself. This is a special time of year. Don’t ruin it by going crazy about gaining weight. If you’re invited out to a special holiday party, don’t fret about what you’re going to eat or drink. Just indulge a little and be mindful. Don’t overdo it. Enjoy this special time with family and friends. ‘Tis the season!