Celebrate this holiday season by focusing on you and giving yourself the most meaningful gift there is: good health, happiness and peace of mind. The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” applies more than ever to the holiday crunch time. The best way to avoid unhealthy weight gain over the 6-week danger zone period (Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day) is to make a pack with yourself NOW to be a little more mindful of what you put into your mouth and also to make sure to move your exercise routine to the top of your “to do” list. Follow these 5 tips for helping you avoid
Don’t skip meals. Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch and try and fill up on lots of low calorie fruit and vegetables. This simple strategy will give you more will-power to overcome excessive consumption of holiday goodies.
Plan, plan, plan before parties and festivities. Don’t let that “holiday mentality” take over—when you stop exercising and overeat. Keep in mind that it’s not the three holiday meals—Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Channukah), and New Years—that cause weight gain but the mindless munching and drinking amongst the everlasting festivities that packs on the pounds. Prepare for those holiday parties…offer to bring a healthy dish (make it light), fill up on lots of water and maybe an apple and a light yogurt before you go, stick to one alcoholic drink or if that’s not feasible, alternate with sparkling water, and be sure to avoid calorie laden drinks like eggnog or sugary mixed drinks.
Eat light at home. Fill your house with whole grains, fat-free milk and dairy products, veggies, fruit and beans. If you don’t buy junk you don’t eat junk. Reserve those calories for the special holiday foods you love and make a conscious effort to limit consumption.
Cook lighter for the holidays. Give your holiday meals a healthy makeover and substitute broth for fats, use fat-free dairy products and be sure to eat skinless, white-meat turkey and to serve a light vegetable dish with your holiday meal.
The best way to ward off weight gain is to make a pack with yourself to not let the holiday frenzy crowd out your exercise routine—it’s more important now than ever to make daily exercise a priority. Experts recommend taking at least 30 to 60 minutes a day for you as the best medicine to de-stress and burn off those extra holiday calories. As you know, this is a very hectic, stress-filled time of year with so many commitments competing for our precious time that it’s easy to let our fitness and healthy eating plans take a back seat. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make a contract with yourself to carve out time to stick to a consistent exercise schedule and to make a conscious effort to curb overeating.
Make a real New Year’s resolution As 2015 is right around the corner, give yourself a healthy New Year’s resolution. As you celebrate this wonderful holiday season, give yourself the gift of health by sticking to your healthy eating and exercise plan. Focus on enjoying the company of family and friends—what the holidays are truly all about. Make your New Year’s Resolution NOW. Eat better, exercise more, drink less, eat less sugary, fatty foods and more fruits and vegetables and you will surely start the new year off a healthier, happier you!