Wellness Tips for the Holidays
6 Ways to Maintain Your Health
Food and family gatherings characterize the holiday season which make it easy to forget about exercise routines and healthy eating. The average American puts on more than a pound during winter holidays, so avoiding weight gain is nearly impossible. However, with the right approach, good health can be easily maintained. Here are some tips that can help.
Be mindful of the holiday dinners and parties that you will attend and avoid overdoing it on other occasions. Eat a healthy snack, like fruit or nuts, before you leave the house or go shopping so you’re not hungry when faced with holiday food temptations. It is also okay to discard holiday treats that are not consumed, so that you do not eat them all week.
Don’t forget to balance your increased caloric intake with regular cardiovascular exercises. Group exercise classes, swimming and strength training can help offset the effects of your holiday indulgences.
DRINK WATER AND EAT SLOWLY
Sometimes people feel hungry when they are actually dehydrated. A minimum of eight glasses of water are recommended each day, and may help quell those hunger pains. Eating slowing will also prevent overeating, because it takes about 20 minutes for your hormones to signal your brain that you’re full.
CONTROL YOUR PORTIONS
Dividing your holiday dinner plate into thirds can help prevent overconsumption. Devote one-third for proteins (including dairy), one-third for fruits and vegetables and one-third for carbohydrates, which includes dessert carbs. Fitting all these items into just one-third of your plate automatically reduces the total amount you eat. Eating the proteins first and saving the carbohydrates for last will also help reduce over-stuffing.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
Many people respond to holiday stress by overeating simply because there is so much food available at parties and family gatherings. While there is no need to completely avoid your favorite holiday foods, eating them in moderation is key. Take a moment first to think about what you are putting on your plate. In the event that you overdo it, try not to beat yourself up about it.
LESSEN THE STRESS
Holidays can lead to high (and somewhat unrealistic) expectations about relationships and social interactions. The reality can lead to disappointment when the situation doesn’t live up to your ideals. Financial limitations coupled with gift-giving obligations, family responsibilities and too much to do in too little time can aggravate stress even more.
It is important to acknowledge your feelings and set realistic expectations. Make sure you take time to relax, even if it’s just a few minutes of watching TV, listening to music, calling a friend on the phone or putting your feet up and reading.