With a bountiful table displaying traditional temptations, it might seem impossible to be disciplined during the holidays. But with a little know-how, you won’t have to forgo your favorite dishes. After all, holiday celebrations are family traditions that happen once a year. Here are 7 tips to make it a guilt-free feast:
- Earn your meal by burning off extra calories.
It’s a holiday, so lace up your sneakers, gather with friends and family, and go for a walk. Taking a 30 minute walk everyday can help burn extra calories and improve your metabolism. Your body and mind will be thankful!
- Drink plenty of water.
This healthy advice applies not only for the holidays, but also for your everyday life. Six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day is recommended for most adults. It helps your digestion, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients and maintenance of body temperature. Plus, water is cool. In fact, it is the second most popular drink in America.
- Don’t get too stuffed.
Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and keep the portions small. Think how much you will enjoy the leftovers the day after and skip the seconds!
- Join forces.
Team up with your spouse, a family member or a friend to help you stay on track. Share your healthiest recipe with them. Motivate one another to resist temptation. Holding each other accountable will make a big difference. You can call it the Holiday Food Police or “FoPo” for short! Compare food diaries with friends or organize a calorie counting contest. Schedule a group activity in advance before the big meal like a hike or participate in a local holiday 5k.
- Laugh and enjoy.
The holiday season is a time for celebration. Forget about weight loss. Instead, strive for weight maintenance. Health experts recommend being realistic while setting goals. And for some people, weight control is one of those perpetual goals. Remember that the holiday season is not only about the food –and much less about your body mass index. It’s an opportunity to have fun surrounded by your loved ones, and opportunity to laugh and enjoy.
- Eat breakfast.
Don’t skip this meal, ever. Experts say that having a nutritious breakfast, packed with protein and fiber will give you more control over your cravings throughout the day. In other words, you will be more selective with your food and beverage choices during the big meals.
- Make room for gratitude.
Research shows that giving thanks is linked to better health. And that is what the holiday season is all about, right? Some studies suggest that feelings of thankfulness help people to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system. Also, gratitude helps people cope with stress, which has a positive impact on one’s overall wellbeing. So write down the things you are thankful for—it’ll help you better approach this year’s holiday feasts.
Remember, be thankful, eat smart and enjoy quality time with the ones you love. Happy Holidays!