Well once again it’s that time of year again when we want to celebrate with merriment and dancing, gift giving and eating and drinking at parties. Yes the Christmas and holiday season is now officially upon us. But there is a trade-off to all the partying and feasting. As with anything, overindulgence can lead to unhealthy intake of desserts, other foods and drinks. Suddenly you’re forgetting about your commitment to healthy living such nutritious foods, getting the proper exercise and sleep.
Here are as some great tips to help you stay fit and healthy, but still enjoy all the delicious foods and fun during the holidays.
1. Eat Well Before You Go To Big Parties.
We all have been there before, at a great Christmas party, laughing, having fun, eating and drinking. First you say you will only have one more drink, one more chip, one more serving of mashed potatoes. Suddenly you feel queasy and realize you’ve over eaten which can pack on some unseemly pounds. To easily curb this simply eat a fit and healthy meal before you head out this Christmas season.
2. Pace and Portion Your Meals.
Stuffing your face can be tempting but remember to only take what you know you can eat. Make sure you eat slowly and allow yourself the pleasure of tasting the flavor of the food which will also help you eat less. Sounds obvious, but as they say, sometimes the most helpful things are right under your nose.
3. Go Easy On The Booze.
As with any time of celebration Christmas is a great time to kick back with a tall one or a nice glass of wine with friends and family. But portion out your drinks just like your meals, because the more alcohol you consume the less self-control you will have and that means you are likely to eat more as well. Lots of alcohol and fatty food is one of the quickest ways to put on extra weight and possibly get ill from the cold or flu over the holidays.
4. Make Sure To Relax.
Anyone who has planned a holiday get together, especially if it involves a big family, is no stranger to stress. Continuous stress has been shown to make people gain weight more quickly as well as cause numerous other health complications, so be sure to set some time aside for a breath of fresh air and some R & R. Try some natural ways to relax with soothing music or try some aromatherapy that will sure to be calming and relaxing.
5. Slow Down!
The human body generally requires around twenty minutes to properly register whether or not you have eaten too much or just enough. So eat slow and take small portions and small bites and you will avoid that awful bloating sensation!
6. Keep Movin’.
Despite all the running around you might have to do to prepare for Christmas it is one of the single most sedentary times of year. There’s the packaging and wrapping of gifts, the sitting for the big dinners and unwrapping of gifts and hours upon hours of TV binge watching all come together to end up contributing to negative health. That being said there some easy ways around this, like standing as you wrap gifts, walking around in between meals and even playing with your children outside in the snow with your children or with the neighbor kids.
7. Eat Healthy.
Perhaps the easiest but least utilized strategy to keep off the pounds during the holiday season is to simply be more discerning and selective in what kinds of foods you actually eat. Given that most people tend to have at least some selection of fruits, vegetables, healthy meats and nuts at their house during Christmas feasts, you should go for those first and pass up some of the more fatty staples such as eggnog, pies and fruitcakes and pumpkin spiced foods and drinks.
8. Always Make Party Offerings!
One of the best ways to ensure you eat healthy is to simply always offer to bring a healthy nutritious dish such as a fruit and veggie tray to whatever party you are attending. This allows you to always be able to make the best and healthiest meals for yourself without seeming rude.
9. Don’t leave anything out!
This might surprise many but December is the time of the year when food poisoning typically peaks. This is because people are so busy and often leave food out too long, so be careful! Make sure you keep foods at the proper temperature.
10. Keep Exercising.
Since Christmas is not only the merriest time of the year, but also the coldest, most people stop exercising, especially those who workout outdoors. Consider getting a gym membership to stay in tip-top shape! It’s also a great gift for a friend or relative. You can become gym buddies and support each other.
My husband and I make a homemade rocking horse coated with eco-friendly child safe Duro Stain, every year to give our local Join Hands group to a child you won’t have any Christmas gift (the above is what we are giving this year).
Christmas is just not about partying, eating delicious foods and who buys the nicest gift but it is about showing your love in many ways. Give of yourself this year and your will find that you will receive so much more back. Try volunteering or donation at a homeless shelter to those that would not have a Christmas dinner, get a child or adult a dog or cat from an animal shelter, go visit a sick neighbor or friend and put a smile on their face, but most of all make sure you give from the heart. Just remember the true meaning of Christmas – is giving.
Merry Christmas to all of you and a very Happy New Year. Make it a healthy and happy holiday season!