How To Stay Healthy During The Holidays

Posted: Dec 20 2014

’Tis the season to be - healthy and stay active. Most holidays are associated with certain foods. These foods are not always the healthiest. Let’s be honest here; mom’s sugar cookies, your uncle’s honey roasted ham and Grandma’s scalloped potatoes aren’t made with the “best for our health” ingredients.

Most of the time we’re too busy visiting with relatives and friends and we forget that our health is at stake. This year remind yourself how hard you have worked to get where you are. Keep up with your nutrition. Replace ingredients in old family recipes with healthier alternatives. Even if you’re not doing your regular workouts try to stay active everyday. Most importantly, do not over indulge this year. Here are some tips on how to enjoy your holidays the healthy way.

 

Be on top:
The most important thing during the holidays is to stay active. We often put our work out routine on the back burner during this time of the year because we are so busy with family and traveling. The truth is exercise will keep you less stressed, happier and allow you to enjoy fitting into the same pair of jeans!

A study conducted by the U.S. government found adults on average gained more than a pound of body weight during the winter holidays – and they were not at all likely to shed that weight the following year. One pound doesn’t sound like much, but not dropping a pound, year after year begins to add up. However, the study found that adults who stayed active during the holidays kept the weight off, and some even lost weight. My point – stay on top of your workout plan over the holidays, you’ll be happier in the long run.

Eating Times:
We can all agree during the holidays we often over eat snacks and meals, or skip breakfast for that big family brunch. Sometimes we are up late with old friends, and that means snacking through the early hours of the morning. You should only indulge in your favorite desert, not everything. Listen to your body – don’t over eat. Skipping a meal is horrible for our bodies, which are usually on a healthy eating schedule. So, wake up early and eat breakfast. Don’t over eat throughout the day. You know when each meal will be served. If there is a large gap between meals make sure to grab a healthy snack so you’re not stuffing your face, or filling up on appetizers being served. Don’t eat heavy food after 8 P.M. I know the leftovers are tempting, but try to have a light snack if you’re still up. It’s important to maintain your blood sugar and metabolism to keep off the unnecessary weight.

Find more nutrition tips & resources here!

Drink Responsibly:
Three major holidays take place within three months. That means a lot more alcohol then we typically consume. A few healthy drinking tips – keep it on the rocks, the rule of three, cork it early, and alternate with water. Keeping a drink on the rocks means you won’t drink it as quickly, and it will have time to get diluted in the melted ice. Furthermore, there are less calories because you’re not adding a mixer. The rule of three is three drinks per night. Women really shouldn’t have more then three drinks within one night because this increases heart rate. Cork your wine bottle before the party ends. You will get a better night sleep if you allow all the alcohol to leave your body before bedtime. Leading into my next point, alternate alcoholic drinks with water. Water will keep your body hydrated. This will allow your body to process all the food in your belly, and give your more energy. If you alternate with water your drinks will last you throughout the night.

Go Light on Appetizers:
Who doesn’t love pigs in a blanket, cheese squares, or ranch dip on the veggie platter? Truth is, appetizers are there as a snack, not a meal. We often eat so many appetizers, it might as well be the meal! This year only fill your appetizer plate once. Whatever can fit on that small plate should hold you over before the meal is served. This year, reach for the fruit and veggies rather than the pigs in a blanket. Substitute some of the appetizers, hummus rather then ranch dip this year. There is always room for healthy, not so filling appetizers to be made.

Get Sleep:
People often lack sleep during the holidays. According to the Sleep Health Center, people who sleep less tend to gain weight more easily, and faster. It can take one week for your body to recovery from one all nighter. Not getting enough sleep will cause your body to release a hormone that indicates your hungry (when your not). Also when we lack sleep we won’t be in the best mood, or on highest alert. Therefore, make sure to get at least 6- 8 hours of sleep. Recovery with extra sleep on the weekends, or get to bed earlier then normal if you typically are up late. Your body will need it’s sleep over the holidays.

After all your great choices, have a safe, happy, healthy holiday season!