We’re right in the thick of it now – the holiday season, the holiday parties, and all the sugary-sweet, calorie-laden goodies that so often go along with it. If you’re staring down a calendar filled with get-togethers that will include platters of things you’d be happy to dive headfirst into if it weren’t for two things – your waistline and your health – then these tips are for you!
Everything in Moderation
This is the kind of advice we generally suggest people follow year-round, but especially when the temptation and offerings are so great as they are during the holidays. There’s no reason to completely ban yourself from enjoying and indulging in some of your favorite traditions and treats. In fact, it’s been shown that banning yourself from enjoying it at all makes you more likely to break the ban and go overboard. Instead, approach holiday treats with moderation as the key. A little bit of this and a little bit of that is fine, as long as a little bit stays a little bit.
Know Your Limits
For many, the holidays are the only time of year family is all together. When you haven’t seen someone in a year or so, it’s easy to be off-base with where they are and what they can handle. That’s why it’s so important to go into the holidays knowing your limits. You know your health and your body – what you can and can’t handle. This is true of more than just alcohol, too. It’s true of sugar intake, how much food you put on your plate, whether or not you can handle pulling the grandkids up the sledding hill. Knowing your limits and standing firm by them will help you keep weight off and arrive in 2020 as healthy as ever.
Plan to Stay Active
It’s winter, that means it’s cold and snowy, and there’s nothing quite like that power-packed combo to make you want to stay inside and cuddled up under blankets and sweaters where it’s warm and cozy. Especially when you pair winter weather with the rich foods that characterize many traditional holiday meals. However, it’s essential to remain active even (and in some cases, especially) when all you want to do is remain sedentary. Plan to go on walks or go for a run or a hike, or even take the stairs in your family’s house a few extra times. It’s essential to keep moving. This helps keep the weight off and keeps your cardiovascular health at the top of your priority list.
Drink plenty of water! It’s a tenant we live by for many reasons, not the least of which is living the mile-high life, but it’s especially important this time of year. Staying hydrated will help with digestion as well as hunger cues. When you’re surrounded by food that looks, smells, and tastes delicious, it can be difficult to tell when you’re actually hungry or when your senses are fooling you into thinking you are. Staying hydrated helps eliminate those false feelings of hunger so you can worry less about overeating as a result of the mouth-watering assault on your senses.
The holidays throw countless people off track every year, but you don’t have to be one of them. In all reality, this time of year is just about reaffirming the commitments you’ve made to your health throughout the year. It’s about standing by the habits you’ve built that make your life better, daily. And if you’re not sure where you need to draw the line, talk with your primary care provider. They’ll help you understand your limits so you can reinforce them even when faced with Grandma’s famous cherry pie and someone offering a third cup of egg nog.