Have a Jolly, Healthy Holiday Season!

The holidays can be a tricky time to navigate if you’re trying to exercise and watch your weight.

But sticking to a healthy routine during this time can keep your energy and “jolly” spirit up.  Here are some tips and tricks to help keep you fit:

  • Be conscientious about your eating habits the days leading to a big celebration.  Downsize your serving plates, make sure you eat a daily breakfast, choose complex carbohydrates (whole-grain cereals or breads) instead of processed ones, and save the alcohol and desserts for the big feasting day.
  • Avoid going to parties hungry to prevent overindulging.  Fill up before you go by eating a small snack with protein and fiber (try celery with peanut butter or a small fruit and yogurt parfait topped with walnuts).
  • When filling up your plate at the buffet table, remember the USDA MyPlate Guidelines:  half of your plate should be servings of vegetables and fruit, one-quarter should be whole-grains and one-quarter should be lean protein.holiday eating
  • Liquid calories add up quickly!  Eggnog, punch, and sugar-based alcohol mixers are high in calories, sugar, and sometimes fat.
  • Watch out for rich cakes and cookies that are high in fat and sugar.  Instead opt for seasonal fruits like pomegranates and clementines, crustless pumpkin pie, or choose a small serving of your favorite dessert.
  • Be careful with appetizers as they are often deep-fried and sodium-filled.  Choose a piece of cheese with a whole-grain cracker or fresh fruit to stave off the pre-dinner munchies.
  • Get out of the kitchen as much as possible!  Personally, I can only keep my tasting spoon out of the food for so long.  Enlist the help of a trusted guest, and go out to mingle or walk around outside for a few minutes!
  • Plan in some physical activity.  Find downtime to re-connect with friends and family while: walking the neighborhood to enjoy holiday decorations, strolling through the local parks, window shopping your favorite malls, or chatting during halftime.
  • Get back to your regular eating and exercise routine as soon as possible after the holidays.  You may miss some sleep and gain a few pounds, but take back control of your life by starting up your fitness habits as soon as the holiday dust settles.

For more fitness tips, check out our free e-book.