‘Tis the season and for most of us this means lots of holiday parties, all of which undoubtedly will dish up copious amounts of food and drink. It’s easy to fall off the healthy diet and exercise wagon during the festivities, but here are a few tips to help you fend off unwanted weight gain and lethargy while still being able to celebrate with loved ones, friends, and co-workers.
SLEEP – Sleep can help keep your appetite and metabolism in check during these stressful times. Six to eight hours of sleep each night should do the trick.
EXERCISE – Exercise will increase your energy, boost your metabolism, and alleviate the guilt you may feel after that piece of pie or glass of wine.
DON’T SKIP MEALS – Eat sensible meals in between holiday fare and be sure to include fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and plenty of water. And don’t forget the most important meal of the day-BREAKFAST.
AVOID ALCOHOL – Believe it or not, alcohol has calories. Too much alcohol can cause you to overeat and leave you tired the next day. Abstaining from alcohol also means you won’t have to pay a cab or have a designated driver!
AVOID GRAZING – Plan ahead where you wish to eat your meals and try to keep close to your usual meal patterns of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Grazing all day long can rack up the calories and leave you feeling unsatisfied. Focus on family and fun instead of food and mingle the night away!
PORTION CONTROL – Choose a smaller 8” plate to use at buffets and choose smaller portions of each item or medium-sized portions of just two or three of the offerings. Make one trip to the line and be sure to take your time and enjoy every bite!
Keeping these healthy holiday tips in mind should help you ring in the New Year happy, healthy, and energetic without feeling deprived. Enjoy celebrating this holiday season with friends, family, and loved ones – that’s what the holidays are all about!
Happy Holidays from the Clinical Nutrition Support team!