The holiday season is here and along with it, loads of good food. We all love to celebrate around a good meal. Holiday favorites don’t have to blow your diet, here are a few tips to keep you in top shape.
1) Start with a Little
Start grabbing food and before you know it, your plate is piled high. And once food is on your plate, it’s hard to stop eating even once you’re full. Try this rule of thumb: only put enough of each item for three bites. Start with that and see how you feel, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised.
2) Keep Moving
When the temperature dips, so do outdoor activities. It might take a little extra effort, but fitting in a few minutes at the gym or a walk around the block can have a huge positive impact. The combination of rich foods and lower activity levels creates the perfect environment for weight gain. Remember that you don’t have to put hours into working out. Do things you love like ice skating, exploring new parks or walking the dog.
3) Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
One big meal won’t actually affect your weight much. The more dangerous culprit is consistently overeating. Holiday stress might have you reaching for that tin of cookies or the candy bowl in your office. Reduce the amount of unhealthy snacks on hand and replace them with healthy munchies– especially fresh fruits and veggies and unsalted nuts and seeds.
4) Start the New Year Early
Get ahead of your new year goals. Start a new workout class or something de-stressing like yoga and meditation. There are usually quite a few deals for classes and equipment around this time of year. Or save money entirely and workout from home with any of the many videos on Youtube made by athletes, trainers and enthusiasts. Try a new, healthy recipe or, if you’re overwhelmed, try this: Sit down with a pen and paper and write down one thing you can do tomorrow like skip soda at lunch or eat one serving of vegetables.
5) Don’t Beat Yourself Up
The holiday season is a time of celebration! Don’t feel bad about breaking your diet. Food and eating are tied to love, family, friendship and culture– things we all need. Feeling down about food and eating food can cause bad habits to stick. You notice every time you eat junk food, but you probably don’t notice when you’re doing well. Focus on what you love about your body and the amazing things it does (feeling a breeze on your skin, tackling work, hearing your favorite song, seeing your child smile). The holiday season has a lot of gifts to give and every miss-step is a learning experience. Enjoy the holidays for all they have to offer.