SERVING VOLUSIA COUNTY…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for some of us, the holidays can feel like too much of a good thing. Too much crammed on our calendars, too much spending on our credit cards, and of course, too many sweet temptations. In fact, the National Institutes of Health reports that the average American gains 1 to 2 pounds every year due to overeating during the holidays, and those few extra pounds are more likely to stick around long after the holidays are over. While the pounds can add up from year to year, it isn’t just about the number on the scale. It is about feeling your best and keeping a healthy rhythm. The holidays don’t have to totally derail your healthy lifestyle and leave you feeling the guilt of over-doing it. Here are some strategies to help you keep a good balance this holiday season.
Heading to Holiday Party? Don’t go on an empty stomach. You are more likely to overeat if you start off the party hungry or skip the meal before. Instead, eat a healthy meal or snack before you go and keep hydrated. It also is helpful to offer to bring a healthy dish so you have a go-to healthy choice.
Filling up your Calendar? Don’t forget to schedule in time for exercise. Not only will physical activity help you deal with your holiday stress, but it will also help give you an energy boast to tackle the holiday hustle and bustle. Bonus- exercise will also lift your mood, helping you get into the holiday spirit.
Baking Cookies? It is typical for most of our holiday traditions to be centered around food. Baking is one of those traditions you may not be able to skip, but that doesn’t mean you have keep all the treats in your house once the kitchen is cleaned up. Enjoy a reasonable amount and then deliver the leftover cookies to a neighbor or even the local fire department. It is helpful to try to limit treats to the days when there is a special event, and clean up your eating on the other days.
Endless Treats at Work? Just because someone brings to work a box of Christmas cookies does not mean you “have” to eat them. Be choosy about your holiday treats. Nothing says you have to treat yourself to those seasonal indulgences such as eggnog, pumpkin pie, fruitcake, gingerbread, and hot chocolate. Don’t waste calories on treats that aren’t your favorites. Pick the treats in moderation that give you true enjoyment, and avoid the rest.
Shop till you Drop? Bringing your own snacks while out holiday shopping can keep you from grabbing fast food and regretting it later. It also is tempting to skip meals while you are busy, but that can lead you to overeat later and crave unhealthy foods. Instead, keep some raw nuts in your car or throw an apple in your purse on the way out the door. Those smart snacks will pay off in the long run and keep you out of the Cinnabon line at the mall.
Holiday Meal Time? Fill you plate with low calories foods before the high calorie ones. Eating the healthy fruits and vegetables before the casseroles and fudge can help you fill up without overdoing the portion sizes. Also resist taking the leftovers home. It is reasonable to have a special meal on the holiday, but eating the same meal for the next 4 days is not a good balance. Keep everything in moderation, and you will enjoy the holiday food without the guilt.
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