Holiday feasting is looming, only a few weeks away in fact, I can already see the word “CHEER” in my head…sort of. The holidays are the perfect time to eat all the things in preparation for eating all the things that will be available at your holiday party or in the office. It’s also a common time for guilt to kick in when you're enjoying festive favorites like pie and cake. It's hard not to get food envy when you see cinnamon rolls, hot cocoa cookies, pumpkin pies, stuffing, pecan pie, candy canes, eggnog...you get the idea.
The holidays are great – friends, family, parties – but unfortunately, the holidays can also be a challenge for those looking to "be healthy". One of the hardest health challenges is maintaining a healthy weight during the holiday season! Understanding that reality, we've compiled a list of 5 tips that can help you keep your self-discipline throughout the holidays.
1. Nosh your favorite foods
Eat slowly and pay attention to what you’re eating and how it tastes. There are several benefits to eating mindfully. The first is that you will pay more attention to your food and how it tastes. This can help you enjoy your meal more, which will make healthy eating easier to sustain. Mindful eating also helps you feel full sooner. This means that you’ll naturally end your meal before you’ve eaten too much or before you’re no longer hungry.
2. Avoid holiday food busters
Steer clear of mindless eating by keeping electronics away from the food table and keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum. Did I mention avoiding sugar? That goes for real sugar, or anything that leaves an insulin spike in your bloodstream. Chocolate is for parties.
3. Get moving, make time to do something active
Even if you try your best not to overeat over the holidays, many people will give in to the temptation of a few extra calories. If you choose to indulge a little bit more than usual during this time, your body will still work hard to stay at the same place on the scale. Even though you might put on a few extra pounds around Christmas and New Years, you'll start seeing those pounds melt quickly as you cross over into next year, especially if you keep moving throughout this holiday season.
So how can you make sure that you shed those extra pounds before the new year starts? One great way is to start using an exercise bike in your home. As you ride your bike, your body will begin to burn off calories, even if you are just sitting still. This will allow you to burn off fat so that when the holidays are over, you will be ready to shed some pounds.
4. Do not snack on holiday foods all day long
Find low-key ways to avoid overindulging by being intentional about how you eat. Eating too much is the easiest thing in the world to do. We have high-calorie foods galore, there are places to eat all around us, and the food is delicious. It’s just really easy to eat too much. Finding ways to avoid overindulging by being intentional about how you eat is one of the best ways you can live a healthier lifestyle.
5. Make healthy holiday fare for yourself
Make healthy holiday fare for yourself so you don’t have to feel guilty about indulgent snacks provided by others. It’s easy to make sweet potato pie or candy cane cookies…or any other recipe peppermint
Above all else, remember what the season is all about: celebrating and spending time with the people you love. When you focus on the fun, the food becomes less important.