7 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

It’s that time of year again! Fresh fall air, stunning red and orange leaves, hot cocoa and family time. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, it’s easy to get a little carried away with the holiday spirit and end up indulging a bit too much. There’s a reason that many people put a diet on the top of their January New Year’s Resolutions list! The good news is there are simple¬†ways to avoid the binge eating, the over indulgences, and the pesky bloated feeling after your holiday festivities. Here are 7 ways to stay healthy during the holidays:

  1. Keep the focus on fun, not food
    Most holidays are associated with certain foods. Christmas at your house might not be the same without your aunt’s green been casserole, but that doesn’t mean food has to be the main focus. Instead, throw yourself into the other rituals a holiday brings.
  2. Cut down your own Christmas tree.
    Rather than buying a tree from a roadside lot where the trees have been drying out for weeks, visit a tree farm that allows you to cut your own. It will be fresher and probably less expensive than they are at the lot. You’ll burn off calories and combat some of the blood-sugar effects of the sugar cookie you snuck by traipsing around the grounds in search of just the right tree.
  3. Indulge in only the most special holiday treats.
    Skip the store-bought cookies at Christmas, but do save some calories in your ‘budget’ to sample treats that are homemade and special to your family, such as your wife’s special Yule log cake.
  4. Make the change!
    The habit: Staying physically active during the holidays.
    The result: Gaining less weight over the years.
    The proof: A study conducted by the U.S. government found adults gained, on average, more than a pound of body weight during the winter holidays – and that they were not at all likely to shed that weight the following year. The good news is that the people who reported the most physical activity through the holiday season showed the least weight gain. Some even managed to lose weight.
  5. Stock the freezer with healthy meals.
    Everyone’s overly busy during the holidays, and most of us want to spend our time shopping, decorating, or seeing friends and family, which leaves less time to cook healthy meals. Take defensive action several weeks ahead of time by cooking meals intended specifically for the freezer. You’ll be thankful later!
  6. Pour the gravy and sauces lightly.
    You may not be able to control what’s being served at a holiday meal, but you can make the turkey, roast beef, and even mashed potatoes and stuffing much healthier by foregoing the sauce or gravy or spooning on just a small amount.
  7. Toast the new year with just one glass of bubbly.
    Alcohol can interfere with your blood sugar by slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream; it also contain a lot of calories – 89 calories per glass of white wine or champagne, 55 calories in a shot of vodka, and 170 calories in a pint of stout beer.

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