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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!