For some of us this is the most wonderful time of the year! Holiday festivities, Christmas decorations, Quality time with family and friends, gift shopping, traveling, wintery weather and hot cocoa, are amongst some of the fun activities of this season.
It is also a very challenging time to keep up with healthy eating and exercise. Between the social gatherings and the delicious food is hard not to gain weight.
Here are some tips that can help you survive thru the Holidays and stay Healthy:
- Food Allocation
With all the delicious goodies available for you to eat, be choosy! Pick the ones that you “really, really love” and leave behind the ones you “simply enjoy”. This will allow you not overeat and watch your calorie intake.
- Take a break before taking second servings
It takes up to 20 minutes to fill full. 20 minutes is a lot, especially when you are at a social gathering. So, what you can do is take 10 mins before going for second servings, put your fork down, start a conversation with someone, drink some water, get up and walk for a little bit and then assess if you are still hungry. You might find out that you are not hungry or will decide to get a smaller portion for seconds.
- Eat before you go
Don’t arrive hungry at a party. Eat some nutrition-dense snacks that will help you control your cravings combine complex carbohydrates with lean protein and unsaturated fat. Hummus with Pita bread or veggies, apple slices with peanut or almond butter, raw veggies with dip and of course…. Drink water!
- Drink your water!
Did I mention… Drink water? That precious liquid that helps our body function properly! Aside the fact that when we are dehydrated our brain doesn’t function properly and we cannot think clearly. It also affects the communication between the brain and the rest of the organs in our body, including our stomach, water will help with satiety and cravings. If you have alcoholic drinks, make sure you alternate with water and keep hydrated.
- Offer to bring a healthy dish
If you enjoy cooking, get creative with healthy options, you can check my list of Healthy Holiday recipes. If you don’t enjoy cooking, you can buy healthy alternative pre-made dishes and appetizers, most of the grocery stores have them.
- Focus on what really matters
What is the most important and exciting thing for you during the Holidays? Most likely spending time with family and friends and celebrating the warm feelings the season brings. Although food is a part of our social interaction, don’t lose sight of the real reason for celebration.
- Keep moving, dance the night away!
Just because you are in “holiday mode” doesn’t mean you can’t shake that wonderful body of yours. Don’t wait until January 1st to start working out. Get moving now and have fun with it!
- Out of sight, out of mind
I always say… if you don’t buy it, you don’t eat it. As much as we all would like to have super-powers when it comes to will-power. We don’t! So, let’s keep it real. If you want to stay away from cookies and decadent desserts, don’t buy them. Also, don’t go grocery shopping hungry, you will end up buying food that you crave not that you need.
- Portion Distortion – Share!
Have you seen some of the portions out there? Do we really need to finish all the servings in our plate like our parents use to tell us? Is ok to bring leftovers home. Is also ok to share portions with others it will save you money and calories.
- Dessert 3-bite Rule
You don’t have to skip dessert… just enjoy it wisely! The 3-bite rule is very simple. The first bite is always the most pleasurable isn’t? The second bite is ok but less exciting, and the same goes for all the other bites after that. So why do more than 3? The last bite is the one that puts closure on our “wow” momentum so it’s mesmerizing. Stick to the 3-bite rule and it will save you a lot of calories!
Keep it safe during this Holiday season and spend quality time with your loved ones, don’t forget the reason for the Season.
As a Dr. Sears Wellness Institute Certified Health-Coach I promote a healthy lifestyle that is build on the four pillars of Health: Lifestyle-How we live; Exercise- How we move; Attitude- How we think and Nutrition-How we eat.
Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional.
Certified Health Coach
Building Happy Healthy Lives
My mission is to empower individuals to take care of their health by adopting simple lifestyle changes so they can live healthier, happier lives.