The Holiday Season is upon us! Here are some tips to have a healthy holiday.
We look forward to spending quality time with friends and family, as well as enjoying the wonderful spread of calorie-laden food. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, the average weight gain during the holidays is reported to be only five pounds or less, however, the problem is that the weight gained is typically not lost. The accumulation of this weight over the years leads to obesity and puts you at risk for related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. I want to share tips to mindfully enter the season of celebration and to successfully resurface without the “weight shame.” Just remember Stephanie’s 3 C’s for a healthy holiday! Contemplate, Communicate, and Commit.
Contemplate! When you are aware of your tasty temptations, it is easier to work around them. First, identify what foods you are looking forward to most and then come up with a plan. I find it helpful to constantly tell myself to fill up with meats and the veggie sides, and find bite sized delight in the foods that are full of calories. Don’t jump up for second helpings right away or skip breakfast, and you will be less inclined to overeat. Think twice about alcohol consumption as popular holiday drinks like eggnog can have up to 350 calories per glass. Eat conscientiously.
Communicate! We often worry about seeming high maintenance and demanding when dieting to our friends and family. Worry less about impressions, and realize when you verbalize your plans to others, you feel accountable and therefore stick with it. Recruit support by creating new traditions with family like fine tuning favorite recipes with healthy substitutions, or engaging in new activities together like walking instead of driving to look at Christmas lights.
Commit! Don’t let the holidays totally derail you from your usual routine. Keep a calendar handy so you can schedule exercise around all of your engagements. Compensate with more activity when you know you indulged a little too much the previous evening. If you’re not currently exercising, this is a great time to start and carry those new fitness habits into the new year. I find it helpful to keep a food journal as well, so that I can’t deny my “naughty nibbles.”
Enjoy a healthy holiday season, relish and revere, but remember that celebration with moderation is the key to staying healthy!