How to stay healthy during the holidays
by Shelley Langenhorst
As is typical with any big holiday, Christmas and New Years tend to be a time filled with indulgent foods and sugary treats. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the food and let our healthy habits fall by the wayside. Instead of ditching your diet completely, resolve to use these simple tips and tricks that will help you navigate the holidays.
There are many things you can do to stay healthy while still enjoying eggnog and sugar cookies:
Indulge in special treats
You can have mashed potatoes and buttery rolls all year long, but your grandma’s delicious Christmas cookies only come around once a year. Don’t overdo it on everyday foods. Save your splurging for the foods that are truly special and enjoy every last bite.
Don’t forget about color
You should strive to eat a rainbow of foods every day – and red dye #40 doesn’t count. Remember to fill as much of your plate as possible with fresh, wholesome vegetables.
Add some color to your plate with a nice, green salad or a serving of fruit. As an added bonus, salad and fresh veggies can help fill you up so you don’t over-indulge.
Remember portion control
It’s one of the most important tenants of healthy eating for a reason – our portion distortion does a number on our waistlines. Christmas is an all-day affair starting with a larger than normal breakfast. Add to that appetizers, snacks, cookies, and dinner and you can easily rack up two or three times your normal calorie count.
Instead of going overboard, try eating just a little bit of everything that way you still get to enjoy all of your favorite treats, just on a much smaller scale.
Get some exercise
It’s tempting to let the heavy meal and eggnog take over and put us into food coma. Instead of passing out post-meal, go for a walk around the block to view the holiday lights displays in the neighborhood. Not only will you burn calories, but you will also help your body with digestion.
It’s just one day
Even if you do end up eating a bit too much, remember that Christmas is just one day. Wake up on Wednesday and resolve to pick right back up with your healthy lifestyle. One day of over-indulgence won’t necessarily cause weight gain. However, if you let the bad habits stay with you then you may find yourself a bit heavier by New Year’s.