Staying Trim During the Holidays – Some Holiday Eating Tips
The holidays are a time of fun, festive cheer and spending time with friends and family. One of the best parts of the holidays has always been the seemingly endless stream of parties and family dinners. While that has changed this year due to the pandemic, the holidays may still be detrimental to your fitness program. Thankfully, with some planning and self-discipline, you can stay trim and healthy over the holidays without sacrificing your enjoyment. We compiled a few tips to help you out.
Avoid Overeating During the Holidays
Its' easy to let your normal fitness and nutritional routine fall by the wayside between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day by overeating. But it doesn't have to be that way. Exercise a good mix of caution, forethought and self control to get through the holiday season with little or no damage to your waistline or your health goals. Here are our eating tips to get you through the holidays –
- Eat Before Arriving – If you’re prone to nibbling while out socializing, eat a snack before leaving home. You’ll provide yourself with the sustenance you need to handle any alcohol you might drink later and you will be less tempted to over-indulge while at the party. Plus, eating beforehand spares you the misery of the potential food stains and smells that plague every holiday party.
- Schedule Some Exercise – It's easy to let yourself slack off your fitness routine during the busy holiday season. It’s key that you stick to your workout during this time, particularly as colder weather leads us to be more dormant and less active in the winter months. Regular exercise will help you relieve holiday stress and prevent holiday weight gain. On days you find yourself swamped or overwhelmed, try to squeeze in at least one 10 to 15-minute walk.
- Don't Skip Meals – It’s key that you keep your metabolism active and that you keep to a regular meal plan. Skipping a meal because you know you’ll be attending a holiday meal later won’t do you any good in the long run, particularly if you aren’t used to skipping meals. If you skip, you’ll only end up overeating at the next meal.
- Eat Only Until You're Satisfied – You’ve likely heard this one before, but be careful to eat only until you are satisfied, not until you are full. Eat small portions and savor them. Eat more slowly, sit down, and get comfortable.
- Choose Lighter Beverages – Many holiday beverages, from cocktails to seasonal juices and treats, both alcoholic and not, can be chock full of calories and sugar. Egg nog can be a killer! Opt for less heavy choices; white wine over red, tonic or soda water for a cocktail mixer, etc.
- Deemphasize Food – While the sharing of food is one of the most common activities over the holidays, it need not be the only activity you participate in. Swap candy and cookie making time for non-food-related activities. One of the best holiday eating tips – plan events with family that involve outdoor fun and arrange friend time around things you don’t normally do together. Don't make it all about food.
- Get Enough Sleep – The holidays are certainly hectic, but don’t let that get in the way of your shuteye. Studies have found that fatigued adults eat more calories on average and choose fattier, higher calorie foods more often than their well-rested counterparts. Follow our holiday eating tips above, and try to get at least seven hours a night.
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