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.
- 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.