Monday, November 24, 2014

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

1. Stay active.
Everything in life is about give and take. Calories in and calories out. Its easy to get so busy over the holidays that we stop working out. Unfortunately whatever you intake over the holidays will have to come off in January, so make it easy on yourself. Studies say that the average person gains 5 to 10 pounds during the holiday season. That's basically a whole dress size! If you don't have time to work out everyday, make sure you make that extra effort to hit the gym or do a home fitness video on the days when you know you will be over-eating. People also get really stressed over the holidays, so those endorphins you get from working out are much needed! Plus, have you ever noticed that you are not exactly a ravenous wolf after you get done working out? Working out right before your next holiday party can help keep your cravings in check and help you to make healthier decisions at the party! So keep moving people!

2. Try a little of everything.
There is a lot of yummy food during the holidays. People definitely bring their A game when it comes to appetizers and treats for gatherings. Unfortunately these recipes don't exactly have A+ nutrition. One way to combat this and still enjoy yourselves at holiday gatherings is to make sure you are are only trying a little bit of everything. Its easy to start down the food line and fill your plate with the first 5 items, and then feel like you have to come back later to fill your plate with the next 5 items. But if you only take one spoonful of everything, then you get to try everything, but only have one plate of food. Which is definitely going to help keep those 5 pounds away! Everything in moderation is key!

3. Stay hydrated.
When we get busy, our water intake seems to be the first thing to go. Staying hydrated will not only help your skin recover from those late nights of holiday partying, but it will also help keep you feeling fuller which means you won't feel the need to scarf down everything in sight at the earliest opportunity. Experts recommend drinking half of your body weight to maintain a healthy weight. If you are only drinking hot cocoa and other holiday drinks, its going to make it really hard to drink all of that water. Bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go during the day and I guarantee that water will disappear before you know it!

4. Bring something healthy to those holiday parties.
Let's face it, there's not a real focus on nutrition during the holidays. Thats why its super helpful if you bring something that's healthy, and that you are actually interested in eating to the party. That way if everyone else bought 1.5 billion calorie dishes, you have something you can snack on throughout the night without feeling guilty or feeling left out that everyone is eating around you.

5. Never go to a holiday gathering hungry.
One of the biggest problems is that parties usually happen at night. Which means that you're coming straight from work or from taking care of kids all day and you are famished. This usually leads to eating everything in sight once you get to the party. Take a quick second to eat a bag of veggies or drink a bottle of water before you head to the party. It will make it a lot easier to make healthy choices when you don't feel you are starving!

6. Get your sleep!
Maintain 6-8 hours of sleep. I have long ago given up on trying to get 8 hours every night during the week, but I find if I can get at least 6-7 hours and then get a little extra on the weekend, I can stay feeling healthy and energized. If you feel energized it will be much easier to get to they gym, or make healthier eating choices!

7. De-stress Yourself!
Between social events, holiday shopping, and family gatherings, your calendar gets booked and you have less time for yourself. As the stress from your crazy schedule builds, your propensity for cravings and calorie rich foods increases. Stress also increases cortisol levels, which leads to the weight gain you are trying to avoid. So pencil in some "you" time by getting your nails done, doing yoga, listening to your favorite music, reading a book, and working out! You will thank yourself later and enjoy the holidays much more!

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