The holiday season is a minefield when you’re trying to stick to a
healthy eating plan. Cookies, eggnog, cocktails, kugel, cakes…the list
of potential dietary saboteurs goes on and on. Add to that, obligations of
shopping, out-of-town guests, travel and holiday celebrations, and it’s
tough to stay on track with your normal workout routine.
Rather than surrender your body to the season, use some of the following tips
to stay on your healthy course.
Don’t give up on workouts. You may have less time to work out, but
that doesn’t mean you can’t fit in some activity. Settle for 20
minutes on the treadmill instead of 45, but make it extra intense. Schedule
workouts early, too, making sure they’re done before the excitement of
the day prevent you from fitting them in.
Squeeze in extra exercise. You may be struggling to get your normal routine
workouts in, but keep your eye out for alternative workout opportunities.
Offer to play catch outside with visiting nieces and nephews or take Aunt
Sally for a walk to catch up, rather than do so on the couch.
Remember that cocktails have calories. A glass of wine or two is festive,
but chocolate-peppermint martinis, margaritas, and white Russians have lots
of extra calories that add up. Plus, too much alcohol lowers your resolve so
you might make less-than-stellar food choices.
Bring a healthy dish to potlucks. If you’re invited to a holiday
potluck buffet, offer to bring a salad, crudité tray with hummus or
lean chicken tenders so you’re guaranteed to have healthy munchies.
Get in the holiday spirit. Decorate your tree and you can burn an average of
85 calories in 30 minutes. Hang lights, wrap gifts, and walk as you shop to
keep the calorie burn going all day.
Don’t show up for holiday parties hungry. It’s okay to eat
lighter during the day knowing you might have a treat or two, but showing up
starving is a guaranteed way to end up binging on unhealthy treats.
Plan non-food activities. Cookie exchanges and potlucks are fun ways to
celebrate the holidays, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy time
with family and friends. Schedule a friendly holiday match of touch
football, a family hike, or volunteer together for a shelter. You still
spend time with loved ones, but don’t take in extra calories while
Avoid keeping temptations in the house. If you’re the lucky recipient
of food gifts, enjoy one or two and then send the remainders to the office,
kid’s school, or share at church.
Make your indulgences worth it. When you do splurge, make sure it was
exceptional. Don’t eat latkes or gorge on fruitcake just because
it’s there. If you really want a slice of Grandma’s pie, have
it. But don’t feel like you must then eat the grocery store pie served
at other gatherings, too.
Don’t let one mistake open the food floodgates. If you do overeat one
day or make unhealthy choices, let it go. Get back on track at the next
meal. You may be tempted to give up until the New Year, but several days of
indulgence do a lot more damage than one meal.
A healthy weight reduces your risk of chronic disease, keeps you feeling
energetic and can help your self-esteem. At Pure Medicine, we want you to be
the healthiest you — so if you do enter the new year with health needs,
contact us for a consultation.
4645 Avon Lane, Suite 200
Frisco, TX 75033
Arthritis specialist serving patients in Frisco, TX, and the surrounding
Dallas-Fort Worth metro area communities.