Holidays derailing your health? Keeping a balanced diet and exercise routine will allow you to enjoy the holidays without needing a resolution-back-up plan.
Tis the season to fall into poor eating habits which lead to poor health. It all starts with that wonderful stuffing and pumpkin pie! Then it’s on to sweet rolls, cookies, gingerbreads, and the many variations of desserts made with cranberries, and the next thing you know it’s the New Year and you’ve put on a few pounds. That’s ok because it’s time to start your New Years resolutions, right? There are definitely ways to stop those pounds of holiday cheer right in their tracks. I am implementing a personal holiday plan of self-control, and I hope you join me!
Thanksgiving has already passed, and you may already be regretting those extra slices of pie. Do not fret! Odds of gaining weight with one poor eating day will not hurt you, but when one day turns into several holiday parties and a dozen glasses of eggnog, things can get sideways.
This season, you can enjoy all your favorites, but also include a healthy balance of diet and exercise! The rule of thumb to live by is 80/20, eighty percent healthy diet and twenty percent of enjoying your favorite treats. So when that pecan pie is calling your name, it’s ok to give in, but opt for one tiny slice. There are also many healthy varieties of holiday treats; Pinterest is a lifesaver! Not everything that is healthy has to taste boring. I recently made delicious Paleo pumpkin bread, and everyone loved it (of course I didn’t tell the boys that it was healthy)!
Another diet killer is alcohol. For many families, cocktails are important. Eggnog and high sugar content cocktails are the worst. Instead, opt for an oxidant-rich glass of red wine or swap soda water and bitters to keep your cocktails flavorful.
During the holidays, things get busy. People push aside exercise and healthy habits. It is a lot harder to jumpstart that resolution after a month (or couple of months) of eating poorly and skipping the gym, but there are little things you can do to help yourself that don’t take hours at the gym.
If you live in a warm area, this time of the year is the best for outdoor activities. Going on hikes, walks, or bike rides can be done with the whole family who’s come into town; it’s a win-win for everyone! Or if you have younger kids, take them to ice skate and join in on the fun instead of sitting on the sidelines watching. Being active a couple times a week will help you stay on track: a yoga class, walking the mall to find gifts, hiking, ice skating, skiing, biking, or anything else that gets that heart rate going! Keeping up with exercise also helps lower stress levels. Being too stressed causes over-eating and is harder for the body to burn extra fat; instead, our minds store the fat because our bodies go into overtime to deal with stressors. We all know the holidays can get stressful, whether the in-laws are in town or we are searching for that perfect gift!
So do not give up hope for this season just yet! There is plenty of time to get back into a healthy lifestyle before the New Year. Enjoy the tasty meals, spend that thirty minutes a day bettering yourself, ravish that glass of wine, but most of all love every second spent with family! Happy Holidays and enjoy the New Year!