Healthy Holiday Eating and Exercise
The holidays are a wonderful time to attend parties and dinners, and enjoy friends and family. This is also a time of year where, on average, Americans gain around one to two pounds. While this weight gain isn't dramatic, research shows it tends to stick and accumulate over the years. Here are Vida's tips to keep in mind for the next couple months.
- Choose Well There are no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, only good and bad eating habits.
- A diet that is balanced, provides a steady stream of energy, repairs and restores the body, and helps manage stress and prevent mood swings.
- Take Control Before a holiday event, eat a snack or light meal. Foods high in protein like: chicken, peanut butter, or cottage cheese, help you eat less.
- Try to avoid the high-sugar or high-fat foods.
- Eat small portions to keep yourself from overindulging.
- Eat slowly and mindfully
- After a meal, go for a walk to see Christmas displays, spend time with others, etc…
- Offer to bring a low-calorie dish to holiday parties. That way you’re guaranteed one healthy dish!
- Don’t park yourself in front of the buffet at a party—mingle!
- Avoid fast food restaurants. It may be handy and quick but it is high in fat and calories.
- Be realistic but do set some goals for yourself, like, “I will continue my workouts during the holiday season”, “I will eat smaller portions—even if I am eating a variety of holiday treats”, “I will take time to relax with family and friends”, I won’t go to ‘every’ party, etc… Write your goals below:
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*Now share them with someone. Aim to maintain your present weight—don’t try to diet during the holidays. It’s too stressful!
Purposeful exercise (not shopping), will help to reduce your holiday stress, anxiety, depression (for some), and sleep problems. It will increase your stamina, help to curb your appetite, and help you keep a positive, healthy outlook all winter long, especially during the holidays. Incorporate a variety of activities into each day that produce balanced fitness—aerobic activity for your heart and lungs, strength training for stamina, and stretching for flexible joints and for distressing your mind!
Circuit training is fast and very effective for fat loss and increasing your metabolism. Try it for 30 minutes 2-3 times per week! Don’t give up your workouts just because you are busy, or away from the fitness center. Be creative, use dvd’s, walk outdoors, use free weights, stretching bands, go ice skating, bowling, play football, get a one week pass at a local gym, etc…
Keep in mind that your goal is healthy eating for life, not just around the holidays.