The holidays are a special time to share with friends and family yet so many people struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the season. Excessive food consumption, lack of activity, party commitments, travel and other stresses can take control and before you know it, you have gained some unwanted body fat or you feel overwhelmed with obligations or the looming reality of the holiday season aftermath takes hold.
Here are 5 simple tips for maintaining a healthy holiday season.
1. Set A Personal Calorie Limit – Each day or before every party, commit to yourself a limit on calorie consumption. Take a moment to consider your favorite dishes, treats or traditional foods and get some information on approximate calorie values. This research will take very little time and there are dozens of great resources online that give details about the approximate calorie value of most foods. It’s perfectly normal and healthy to indulge occasionally during the holiday so don’t let the concept of overeating control your mood or outlook. Simply make a plan and stick to it as close as possible.
2. Choose Only Your Favorite Foods – It’s the holidays and they are supposed to be a time of celebration and communion. Pick foods that are traditional to you or something you look forward to each season. Pass up the store-bought goods and reconsider that handful of generic candy. Instead enjoy a modest piece of grandma’s epic homemade pie or your cousin’s legendary scratch fudge. Remember, moderation is key and you truly can balance reasonable food intake while still enjoying the holiday.
It’s the holidays and they are supposed to be a time of celebration…
3. Keep Active – The holidays often pose a challenge because our schedules are usually altered and social calendars can be packed. However, it is very possible to remain active to a large degree no matter how full your week looks. Some useful ways to keep yourself active include attending a regularly scheduled fitness class, hire a personal trainer so you have an appointment or commit to a morning or afternoon walk on your own or with the family. Maintaining at least a half hour of activity each day will improve your mood, reduce stress and help balance the added calories you may be consuming.
4. Manage Your Alcohol Consumption – Many people enjoy the season with traditional cocktails or Champaign toasts. Again, moderation is key so just remember a few facts. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and they can add up quickly. Two glasses of sparkling wine can exceed 240 calories and two martinis can top 200 calories. A mug of spiked cider can even get up to 300 calories in some recipes.
5. Commit to A Life Long Wellness Plan – Without question, coming into a holiday season with a defined, scheduled and committed plan already in place makes a huge
difference. Those who have made commitments to their wellbeing often come through the holiday mostly unscathed and are right back into their normal fitness routines once the season ends. Wellness is a personal responsibility and taking action early and keeping momentum through all of life’s seasons makes navigating the holiday stress free and rewarding.
Don’t let the cycles of the year or the holiday season be a reason for stress and don’t fear the damage of mounting body weight. Follow the 5 steps above and enjoy the holiday season!