Eating Healthy and Staying Active During the Holidays

It can be hard not to overindulge during the abundance of feasts with friends and family during the holiday season. But there are ways to enjoy these meals without putting on unwanted holiday pounds. This article will provide you with some tips to help you make it through the holiday season while maintaining your physical well-being.

Eat Smart

You may not be able to control what food you’re served, and you’re going to see other people eating tempting treats. Meet the challenges armed with a plan:

  • Eat close to your usual times. If your meal is served later than normal, eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when dinner is served.
  • Invited to a party? Offer to bring a healthy dish along.
  • If you have a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs (like potatoes and bread) during the meal.
  • Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. You’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat.
  • If you slip up, get right back to healthy eating with your next meal.

Pace Yourself

When you face a spread of delicious holiday food, make healthy choices easier:

  • Have a small plate of the foods you like best and then move away from the buffet table.
  • Start with vegetables to take the edge off your appetite.
  • Eat slowly. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do have an alcoholic drink, have it with food.
  • If necessary, stay on top of your blood sugar. Check it more often during the holidays, and if you take medicine, ask your doctor if the amount needs to be adjusted.


Sleep Well

Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on sleep. When you’re sleep deprived, you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food. Aim for 7 to 8 hours per night to guard against mindless eating.

woman sleeping
man hiking through the woods during the fall

Keep Active

Taking a few days off of your exercise regimen during the holidays is fine. However, you don’t want to forget about getting regular physical activity altogether. For example, taking a walk between meals helps stimulate your metabolism while burning off some of the calories you’ve consumed. In addition, if you know there will be specific days that you won’t have the time to get any physical activity, you can take steps to motivate yourself to get back in the swing of things. Setting reminders in your calendar to exercise once the holiday festivities have come to a close can help. And if you have a workout buddy, you can motivate each other to stay on top of your fitness goals. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly text message reminder to get you on your feet.

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