The holiday season gives us opportunities to be thankful, give to one another and ring in another new year. Having healthy holidays is a priority for many as they remember the goals they set for the past year. However, it’s easy to get swept up in the holiday season with unhealthy eating and the tendency to slack off on exercise.
So, as the holiday season moves into full swing, here are 7 quick tips to help us all have healthy holidays at home.
- Avoid skipping meals. Missing a meal with the goal of saving calories prior to a holiday event can backfire and lead to overeating. Having a "filler-snack," like a piece of fruit, string cheese, yogurt or a small handful of nuts, can help to curb your appetite and prevent overeating.
- Eat only until you are satisfied. No one likes that icky, stuffed feeling after a meal. Eat slowly, and check your fullness levels while you’re eating. Remember — there are always leftovers!
- Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids. Watch your alcohol intake and keep your wits about you at holiday parties. If you’re bored with beverages, try adding low-sugar fruit juices or other natural flavorings to hot or cold water. These can make healthy alternatives that are both delicious and nutritious.
- Visit the people, not the food. Move socializing away from the buffet or appetizer table to prevent mindless eating.
- Rest. between activities and get plenty of sleep at night. If you know you’ll be out late, try to take a quick power nap—a little goes a long way. The holidays always include extra activities and will take more energy than usual, so getting adequate amounts of rest will let you join in all the fun.
- Don’t feel guilty. If you did overindulge, don’t beat yourself up. Just make sure your next meal is healthy, and be sure to incorporate exercise into your routine.
- Move your body. Especially if our eating goes a little out of whack during the holiday season, moving our bodies will help keep our blood moving and our bodies more resilient. Even a short walk in the mornings or evenings can do wonders—plus, a little fresh air and a chat with a friend or family member, while we’re walking, is always a great way to refresh and reconnect.
While having heathy holidays are important, there's no need to deprive yourself, eat only boring foods, or take your treats with a side order of guilt. Instead, by practicing a bit of defensive eating and cooking, you can come through the holidays without making “go on a diet” one of your New Year’s resolutions.
Happy Healthy Holidays from the Y Family to yours!