The holiday’s can be a stressful time. I put together some tips to help you stay on track during the holidays!
- Stock Up On Healthy Meals: Holidays bring the joy of family, friends, parties, and great food. While many may stress over the dreaded seasonal weight gain, it is easy to maintain a healthy diet by following some simple guidelines. Make this holiday season your happiest and healthiest one yet, and don’t fall into the mindset that you will start your healthy diet in the New Year. There is no better time to start than now. Make sure to stock your refrigerator with healthy meals so you are less likely to pick at unhealthy leftovers. And don’t let your unhealthy holiday leftovers replace all your meals for the week.
- Don’t Skip Meals: It is important to eat three balanced meals every day, starting with breakfast within 60-90 minutes of waking up and then have something healthy to eat every 3-4 hours thereafter. One common mistake during the holidays it that so many people skip meals earlier in the day in attempt to “save” their calories for an indulgent meal. This is a bad idea. Don’t skip meals. Stick to regular balanced meals to keep your metabolism going and to prevent overeating later on.
- Be mindful of alcohol: Alcohol has no nutritional value; therefore, it contains empty calories. While you don’t have to eliminate alcohol, try to keep it to no more than four to six drinks per week if you’re trying to keep your weight down. Especially this time of year, try to avoid sweet and fancy cocktails like those that have sugar on the rim or those full of “holiday flavors” like chocolate, egg nog, peppermint, candy cane and caramel. These are usually filled with tons of sugar, fat and calories. Instead, stick with ultra low-carb beer, a glass or two of wine, or mixed drinks that use club soda or sparkling water (you can also try adding lemon or lime). Straight drinks can also be a good option but just remember that, ounce for ounce, the stronger the alcohol content, the heftier the calorie count.
- Keep A Food Journal: If you don’t already keep a food journal, this holiday season is the perfect time to start. When people write down what they eat, they are likely to consume fewer calories. Keeping a journal is a great way to stay organized and feel empowered. People who recorded their food intake lost twice as much as those who did not keep track of their food. You tend to be more mindful of what you’re eating when you are held accountable. You can write it down, share with a friend, or use a food journal app… any of these will make you more aware of your choices and cause you to think twice before making an unhealthy decision.
- Don’t Forget To Exercise: While December is a busy time for many, there is no excuse to let your exercise plan go to the wayside. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 days a week. If you can’t get to the gym, aim to get in at least 10,000 steps for the day! Staying active will not only burn calories but it will keep your energy levels up, boost your confidence, and reduce stress. However, just because you had a great workout doesn’t mean you can eat all of the holiday chocolate you want. Both diet AND exercise are integral to maintaining or losing weight. So get up, get healthy, and get active!