8 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays
Being physically active is one of the most effective ways to maintain or lose body weight. Get creative with the type of movement you do. Incorporate family walks as a new holiday tradition. If your limited with time, set a timer for 5 minutes and see how many squats, pushups, and planks you can do. For more of a challenge, sign up for an event like a race!
Don’t “save up”
“Saving up” by eating a small amount, or not eating all day can lead to overeating once mealtime finally does come. Continue having meals and snacks every 3-4 hours throughout the day leading up to the event to avoid overeating. It can also be helpful to have a snack or small meal before the event so that you are not tempted with appetizers.
Pay attention to portions
If possible, use a smaller plate. This can actually make us feel fuller with less food. Focus on filling half of your plate with fruits and veggies, a quarter with protein and a quarter with grains or starchy vegetables. Always start with the vegetables first and aim not to eat past a 7/10 on the hunger scale. Remember, you do not have to have everything that is offered. Choose your favorites and skip the other options.
Bring a healthy dish
If you are going to an event or a party, offer to bring a dish. If you are hosting, make a healthier alternative! Flavor dishes with herbs and spices instead of butter. Bake, steam or grill foods, rather than frying. Substitute low-fat or skim milk for heavy cream. Replace cream cheese, sour cream and mayo with Greek yogurt.
The faster we eat, the less time we are giving the body to realize that its full. Slowing down while eating increases the response of the hormones in the gut. These hormones are what signals to the brain that the stomach is full. Focus on spending more time chewing food and even try putting the fork down in between bites.
Limit liquid calories
Stick with water, unsweetened iced tea, hot tea or coffee to avoid unnecessary calories from drinks. If you do have alcohol, go for a light beer or wine. Remember the 1:1 ratio, for each alcoholic drink, have one glass of water. Use club soda or sparkling water in the place of sweetened beverages. Flavor drinks with lemon or lime rather than sugar or simple syrup.
Prioritize sleep & stress management
As the end of the year gets closer, everyone seems to get busier. When this happens proper sleep and stress management can get put on the back burner. However, lack of sleep and high stress can both contribute to weight gain. Both of these things can increase appetite which leads to increased intake. Make sleep a priority this holiday season by getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Manage stress through exercise, journaling, meditation, and yoga for just a few ideas.
Don’t wait until January 1st to get started on your goals. If your serious about taking control of your health this holiday season, set realistic goals and stick to them. Recognize that mistakes happen and bounce back instantly instead of falling into the “I’ll start tomorrow” trap. Start now with a complimentary health assessment from Total Nutrition Technology!
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