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Happy Healthy Holiday Tips

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: John Douthitt

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is already upon us. This season of family, fun and parties presents many challenges. Holiday parties, rich food, late nights and the stress of getting everything done on time all contribute to weight gain, but with a little planning and some much needed self-control this can be avoided. The following tips will assist you in surviving the holidays.

1. Wear something fitted. If you wear form-fitting clothing, you’ll be less likely to overeat because the tighter fit will remind you not to eat to the point of discomfort.

2. Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast can keep you from overeating later on in the day. Be sure to include a protein-rich food item such as low-fat Greek yogurt or natural peanut butter spread on whole-wheat toast.

3. Avoid mindless munching. Don’t arrive to a holiday event hungry or resistance will be futile. Make it a priority to visit with the people, not so much the buffet table.

4. Rethink your drink. Liquid calories do not satisfy hunger and can quickly lead to weight gain when consumed in excess. Many holiday drinks such as egg nog are laden with fat, so try spiced tea as a substitute.

5. Limit Alcohol. As for alcohol, moderation is the key because its inhibition-lowering effect can quickly lead to overeating. Plus, alcohol is full of empty calories.

6. Keep exercise a priority. The holidays are the worst time to abandon your exercise routine. Reaping the stress-busting and calorie-burning benefits of exercise will empower you to stay the course. Set a goal of just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day and get in just two strength training sessions to tighten and tone.

7. Sleep. Getting less than six hours of sleep a night causes cravings for starchy, sugary foods and dissolves your resolve to make healthy food decisions. Most health experts recommend seven hours or more of sleep a night to feel fully rested.

8. Get a workout buddy. Getting together with a friend to walk and talk will burn calories, relieve stress and help with accountability. Having an accountability partner can empower you to be more successful than you would be on your own.

9. Awareness is power. Don’t deprive yourself of all the holiday sweets, but do be selective and practice mindfulness by being aware of what you are eating, the portion size and why you are eating. Keeping a food journal is the best way to raise awareness of food intake.

10. Free yourself of guilt. Instead of feeling guilty for a moment of indulgence, channel those emotions in a more positive way by going for a brisk walk.

A little planning will keep you in shape through the holiday season and provide you with a jump start to the New Year.