Each year, the holidays throw us into a whirlwind of stressors like entertaining, traveling, shopping, and spending. It is hard to escape the chaos, but with careful planning, you can continue to maintain a healthy diet, stay active, and keep your budget in line. Avoid the trap of “holiday thinking.” Special occasions come and go, but good health remains with you forever!
TEMPTATIONS WITH FOOD
Just because the holidays are here, it doesn’t mean you have to throw out your diet. Here are a few tips to help you eat more sensibly while still enjoying your favorite foods:
• Don’t show up to a party hungry! Eat a small, healthy snack before you head out the door, so your willpower doesn’t falter.
• Offer to bring a healthy dish
• Fill your plate with healthier foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats before anything else
• Share a dessert
• Only eat what you love, don’t feel compelled to try everything
• Alternate between water and alcohol to minimize the intake and stay hydrated.
• After finishing your first helping, take a 10-minute break. Make conversation and drink some water. Then recheck if you need to eat more. Additional tips from Harvard Health Publishing, Twelve Tips for Holiday Eating
MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE
Finding time to workout during the holidays can be extra challenging. Here are some creative ideas to keep you moving:
- Make the most out of airport delays: walk up and down the concourse while waiting for your flight.
- Shovel snow! You burn 350-450 calories per hour shoveling snow!
- Take a family walk: An excellent time to connect and be grateful
- Plan before you travel. Check for local gyms, parks or trails. On your calendar, schedule workouts so you won’t be tempted to skip them!
KEEP A BUDGET
Between gift-giving, entertaining, traveling, and food prepping, it can be tricky to keep costs down. Here are some ways to be money conscious:
• Make a shopping list – Write down all your expenses, not just gifts. Decide how much you can afford and don’t go over that amount.
• Shop throughout the year – When you come across the perfect gift for someone, buy it! It is one less person to stress over when the holiday arrives.
• Comparison shop – Your holiday dollars will go further if you do your homework before you start shopping.
• Give sentimental gifts that don’t cost much.
• Put people first- It’s essential to stay focused on what truly matters about the season, spending time with the people who mean the most to you.