With the Holidays right around the corner, it’s easy to lose focus on your health and wellness goals. This time of year is synonymous for large feasts, decadent desserts, and festive drinks. Many of us also find ourselves getting busier with the extra socializing, shopping and traveling that comes along with the Holiday season. Taking time to plan healthy meals and going to the gym just don’t seem to fit during this busy time of the year. The good news is there are some small, simple steps you can take to stay on track while still enjoying your favorite foods and company this holiday season.
- Get rid of any leftover Halloween candy! Resist the urge to stock up on the clearance candy and throw out or give away anything that is left over from the trick or treaters.
- Eat slower. There are many reasons why you should take your time eating. Leisurely eating allows you to enjoy your food, improves digestion, and helps you lose weight because you’ll end up eating less. It takes our brains about 20 minutes to realize that we’re full. This delay plus eating too fast is why many of us suddenly “hit a wall” leaving us feeling too full and uncomfortable. One easy way to slow down your eating is to engage in more conversation while around food. The more you’re talking, the less you’re eating!
- Never arrive hungry. When we’re hungry, we’re more likely to make poor decisions especially when temptation is all around us. Have a small meal or a snack high in protein before heading out to a party. You can never be sure what the host will provide for food so eating before will also prevent you from having just chips and cookies for dinner.
- Stay hydrated. Water helps us feel full so drinking plenty of water is an easy calorie control trick. When drinking alcoholic beverages, be sure to have one glass of water with every drink. You’ll also feel better the next morning!
- Use healthier ingredients. If you’re in charge of cooking, try swapping out certain ingredients, like those high in fat or sugar, with healthier alternatives. This will allow you to cut up to hundreds of calories without sacrificing quality or flavor. For a list of some of the best healthy recipe substitutions, click here.
- Keep moving. Burning calories doesn’t always take place at the gym. Instead of staying inside, find fun and creative activities that you can do with friends and family like ice skating, sledding, and holiday shopping.
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