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Tips for a Healthy Holiday

Coach M’s Tips for a Healthier Holiday

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but if you are trying to make healthy lifestyle changes, it can also be the most challenging time. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy over the holidays.

  1. Don’t stand near the buffet table! It is said that great parties end in the kitchen. However, if you are working on a healthier relationship with food, pace yourself, which is much easier to do when food is further than a finger’s reach away.
  2. Eat a healthy snack before the party. While this may seem counter-intuitive, research shows that people who “save up their calories” for the big event tend to eat more and make unhealthy food choices more often.
  3. Pick and choose. Holiday treats are part of the fun. Instead of denying yourself that special treat that you get once a year, enjoy it! However, limit day-to-day “filler” foods (such as chips, crackers, and packaged foods that you have access to on a regular basis).
  4. Stay active. If you have a regular workout routine, stick to it. Better yet, work exercise into your daily activities: walk to the store, take the stairs, toss a football with your friends. Aside from burning calories, this releases endorphins to help you make better choices.
  5. Avoid the “stretchy pants.” It’s ok to dress comfortably, but using it to encourage overeating is a no-no. Those who unbuckle their belt after a big meal usually regret it the next day.
  6. Drink water. Divide your body weight by two, then aim for that number of ounces of water per day. When drinking alcoholic beverages, drink a “spacer” (cup of water) in between. Try sparkling water with a lemon slice as a fresh alternative to a cocktail.
  7. Put down your fork. When sitting down to a holiday meal, set down your fork when chewing. It is a simple way to slow down, allowing for proper digestion while also reducing the amount of food you ingest before feeling full.
  8. HALT! This stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely & Tired, which are feelings that could drive you to overeat. Be mindful of what is driving your hunger. Are you truly hungry, or just looking to quell a different emotion by eating?

Above all, enjoy a little break and head into 2020 refreshed with a positive attitude! Happy holidays!

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