It’s that time again – the season of holiday festivities! As the season ushers in copious amounts of parties, traveling, late nights and feasts, one’s healthy habits can get chucked right out with the fruit cake. I have personally discovered that without a good plan of attack for the holidays, I am prone to overindulge, skip the exercise, and guiltily saunter into January afraid of stepping on Mr. Scale. Not fun.
Here are some tips to help us enjoy the holiday season, and happily step into the new year as healthy as ever. Any other ideas for celebrating the holidays healthy-style?
- Use the buddy system: find a friend (spouse, family member, online support group, etc.) who has similar hopes of staying healthy, and help each other follow through with your health goals during the holidays. Peer accountability is extremely powerful.
- Don’t go to a party hungry: we often eat faster and more when we are hungry – therefore eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch to avoid overeating at the party.
- Bring a healthy dish to share: people will appreciate your veggie platter amidst the sea of pies and cookies.
- Watch your portions: use a small plate, and go for small portions. Think of it as sampling all the different foods. Moderation is key.
- Keep your meals balanced: make some room on your plate for fruit and vegetables, in addition to the other foods. This way, you will get to indulge as well as receive valuable nutrients and vitamins.
- Indulge a little: be sure to enjoy some of the specialty foods you really love. A few bites of cheesecake will do you some good.
- Nurse your plate (and drink): pace yourself by taking little rests between bites. Wait 20 minutes before getting another plate of food from the buffet. You’ll often find that you’re no longer hungry.
- Hang out with people, not the food: socialize away from the buffet table, bar or kitchen. You will be less likely to mindlessly eat the entire cheese platter.
- Drink plenty of water: alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body, and can add to your caloric intake. Stick to water as much as possible.
- Get some exercise: it’s important to maintain your physical activity during the holidays. Talk a walk with a friend, hit the gym, play some football, whatever it takes to be active.