You walk into work and find delicious homemade goodies waiting to be sampled. Or you may have a different holiday party to attend every weekend until New Years Day. Let’s face it, this is a difficult time of year to make healthy choices. However, we have some tricks to help you survive the holiday season without gaining a ton of extra weight.
Trick #1: Don’t Arrive Hungry
We all know the holiday food favorites are just not healthy. Before heading out to those holiday parties, sit down at home and eat a well-rounded meal that includes the right amount of carbs and protein. That way, you are less temped to mindlessly snack on unhealthy party appetizers and desserts.
Trick #2: Listen to Your Body
Your body will tell you when it’s full, but it’s your job to listen and not ignore it. If you’re not hungry, sneaking bites of appetizers and desserts will only turn into fat. Ask yourself, is it worth it? Remember, you have to decide between what you want right now (cookie) and what you want later (healthy body). If you really want that cookie, ask for a plastic baggie and save it for your Fun Day!
Trick #3: Limit Your Holiday Celebrations
Should you allow yourself to splurge a bit on holidays? Yes, as long as you don’t go overboard. However, keep in mind you’re not celebrating “The Holidays” every day from Thanksgiving to New Years. Allow yourself special treats on the actual holiday, not all the days in between.
Trick #4: Plan Ahead
Let’s face it, fattening foods are everywhere this time of year. Holiday treats line the grocery store entrances, make random appearances at your office, and fill tables at holiday parties. The best way to avoid falling into the trap is to plan ahead. Make a list – and stick to it – when grocery shopping. Always pack healthy snacks to take to work. If attending a holiday party where one of the main activities involves food, take a healthy food option to share.
Trick #5: Focus on Family and Friends
The holidays aren’t just about eating and gifts. It’s a time to focus on people. Create special memories with loved ones, play games, talk, and take the attention off unhealthy eating. It’s better for your waistline, and it teaches children what the holidays are really about – people. Consider volunteering at a food shelter to help those that don’t get enough to eat.
Trick #6: Don’t Forget to Exercise
Schedules fill more quickly this time of year and some people allow that to be an excuse to skip workouts. Don’t forget to make time for yourself during this busy season. Not only will you feel better, but it will help avoid that post-holiday gloom a lot of people face. If you absolutely cannot make it to the gym, find alternate ways to exercise. If you’re traveling, plan ahead to find a Farrell’s or other gym that offers day passes or simply take your family out for a walk in the park.
Trick #7: Water, Water, and More Water
Make a special point to always carry water with you. Instead of reaching for alcohol at parties, grab water. Not only will it cut out those extra calories, it will keep you feeling full and remind you to not snack. Additionally, staying hydrated will give you more energy to get through those long winter days.
Trick #8: Drink Responsibly
If you decide to engage in drinking alcohol, limit your consumption. Also remember, not all alcohol has the same amount of calories and sugar. The preferred drinks are red wine and drinks lower in sugar. You can also use substitutions, such as adding diet Ginger Beer in your Moscow Mule. Club soda with lemon is also a good partner with zero sugar.