With Thanksgiving quickly approaching and Christmas and New Year’s not far behind, the holiday season is a great time to destress. It is too easy to relax with the abundance of food. Perhaps now more than any other time of the year is when carefully-laid diet and exercise plans are ruined. Despite this, it is still possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle during this time.
Don’t skip meals before a holiday feast
While it might seem smart to pass on breakfast to eat more later, this actually has a negative impact on metabolism. If the body skips meals, it is more prone to overeating when food is available. In addition, this causes the body to tap into energy reserves in muscles and lowers blood sugar levels, draining energy and thinking ability. Eat a light breakfast that includes protein and whole wheats before a feast. This will keep the body satisfied until the big meal.
Eat slowly and properly
During the holidays the temptation to overeat is rarely higher. Getting smaller initial portions and chewing slowly can cause the body to feel full sooner. Instead of eating a second helping, those leftovers will be better off as a later meal.
Limit consumption of fats and sugars
It’s understandable to want to enjoy a traditional holiday meal. Simple preparation changes can allow holiday meals to be eaten with less guilt. For instance, try fat free chicken broth when cooking turkey, or reduce the amount of oil and butter in recipes. Even these small changes can make a difference.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking water is important everyday, but it becomes even valuable during the holidays. It’s a great way to stop overeating by satisfying the body faster. Drinking enough water also helps limit drinking other beverages such as champagne and eggnog.
Engage in some exercise
Getting some exercise during the holidays helps in maintaining a healthy weight. A leisurely stroll around the neighborhood or tossing a football around will help burn calories after a hearty meal. This is even better if the whole family joins. Another option is the Turkey Trot; many communities offer this on Thanksgiving to help burn calories before the big meal. Even chores such as raking leaves or cleaning the dishes after meals can be helpful.
The holidays are a time to enjoy family, friends, and food. By making the right choices, they don’t have to ruin your fitness goals. Instead of slacking off and making a New Year’s resolution to do better next year, end the year on a high note for your health.