With Thanksgiving a little under three weeks away and Christmas not long after, the holiday season is in full swing. Meal planning, guest lists, and letters to Santa are all well underway and while it’s true that all of these things can get pretty stressful, they’re also a lot more fun than we’d like to admit sometimes. Along with the fun parties, family visits, and mountains of gifts, the holiday season can also come with a healthy dose of guilt. Whether that guilt comes from the endless dessert we all tend to consume during this time or the difficulty we have carving out time to exercise, many of us struggle with staying healthy. Keeping healthy during the holidays doesn’t have to involve depriving yourself of all the goodies or fun the season has to offer, just follow these simple but effective tips and you’ll be as happy and healthy as always!
1. Don’t Go To Parties Hungry
A large part of holiday parties revolves around the food. Whether it’s a fun potluck or an old fashioned dinner party, any holiday bash you attend is sure to be filled with plenty of goodies. One great way to cut down on overeating is to keep your belly adequately filled before you even show up. While you should definitely go to the party with your eyes open and mouth watering, you definitely shouldn’t show up with your tummy grumbling. Have a nice light, healthy meal or snacks before the party so that you can focus on the things you really want while you’re there.
2. Stay As Active As Possible
Finding the time to get to the gym can be difficult on a regular day, but especially so during the holidays. Even if you can’t make use of that pricey membership, try taking a jog around your neighborhood, accompanying your children to the park, or trying out a few YouTube workout videos. The more consistent exercise you do, the fewer chances you have of being negatively affected by all those Christmas cookies.
3. Be Picky With Your Holiday Sweets
Cookies, cakes, pies, puddings, the choices when it comes to holiday desserts are seemingly endless and while they’re all fantastic, if you’re looking to keep your sugar intake to a minimum it may be beneficial to be a bit more discerning. When making your own favorite seasonal treats or partaking in them at a party, delegate yourself to a singular portion of your favorite dessert. Setting these rules for yourself will keep you from overeating and making unhealthy food choices.
4. Keep Your Stress Levels Down
Stress can play a huge factor in what and how much we choose to eat, and unfortunately, the holiday season holds just as much stress as it does fun. You can significantly cut down on your stress levels by cutting down on last minute events, planning ahead, depending on your family and friends for help, and by reminding yourself that the holidays are supposed to be fun!
5. Be Mindful of Your Portions
With all the amazing, seasonal foods, desserts, and goodies available during the holidays, it can be easy for us to get a little in over our heads. It is important to remember that you don’t have to eat until your belly is bursting, just until you are adequately satisfied. Keep your portions reasonable and don’t forget to load up on veggies while you’re at it!
6. Squash The Guilt
Food and guilt are two things that definitely don’t belong together, especially not during a season so full of love and laughter. Even if you go a little overboard with the desserts or have an extra helping or your mom’s famous mac and cheese, it definitely isn’t the end of the world. Remember that your health doesn’t have to come at the expense of your happiness.