Healthy Tips For This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a great time for gathering friends and family around the table, sharing stories over delicious meals, baking grandma’s secret gingerbread cookie recipe, and indulging in some eggnog. With all the delicious foods the holidays bring, it’s hard not to enjoy yourself. And for many of us, we enjoy ourselves a little too much and before we know it, we’re a few pounds lighter.

Don’t worry. This article isn’t going to tell you to avoid Thanksgiving dinner like the plague or shame you into never eating another piece of pie ever again. Staying healthy during the holiday season doesn’t need to involve the latest diet trend or a super cleanse, or even an extreme workout ordeal. A healthy holiday can be as simple as moderation and smart thinking. You’ll still get to eat the holiday foods you love without having to fear the scale.

Healthy Cooking

If you get the chance to host your own holiday party, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to keep things light and tasty. Look for food items that are low on fat and sodium, cook with skim milk, and trim the fat off of any meat you plan to serve. If you’re worried about losing some flavor, substitute some spices and no one will even notice the difference! Also, have some healthy sides and desserts available. There’s nothing wrong with having some vegetable sticks with a light ranch for dip and some fresh strawberries with raw sugar on the table. Not only will you be keeping yourself healthy, but you’ll be helping your guests out, too! Also, find healthier versions of beloved holiday recipes to bring with you when you’re invited to holiday potlucks, too.

Set Aside Some “Me” Time

The holidays can be hectic, with relatives coming and going, gifts to purchase, and parties to attend. However, the stress doesn’t have to add up to overeating. Be sure to set aside some personal time to work out, even if you have the whole family in town. Set the kids up with a fun and easy activity, like making ornaments, and get out for a quick run. That way, you can keep up on your fitness and break up some stress that is sure to be building up. Having work out time set aside might also be the motivation you need to limit yourself to just one piece of cheesecake.

Keep Eating

When people fear they are gaining weight, their first reaction is to just stop eating. If we didn’t have to eat, we’d all be looking like super models, wouldn’t we? However, eating is a necessity and it doesn’t have to be detrimental. Eating in the right way can also help curb your appetite for other meals. For instance, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day, regardless of time of year. If you’ve got a big day of gift shopping or errand running ahead of you, fill up on a balanced breakfast to give you fuel to keep going and to prevent you from stopping at every Starbucks you see. If you have a party to go to, eat some healthy snacks ahead of time so you’ll already be on your way to feeling satisfied and full. You can still enjoy the tasty treats, but at least you won’t feel the need to fill up on them.

Make Some New Traditions

It can be hard to limit the sweets when family holiday traditions include chocolate advent calendars, gingerbread house making, and other food-centric activities. Don’t do away with them completely, after all, they’re probably cherished traditions. Instead, try incorporating holiday activities that involve arts and crafts like the aforementioned ornament making, writing letters to Santa, and you can never go wrong with pulling out some board games. You can still serve some snacks and drinks to keep the mood light, just make sure they’re healthy ones!

The holiday season is a great time to get the family together, break out those delicious recipes, and have an enjoyable time. But too often we regret our eating decisions and being fearing the next holiday party. This year, don’t live in fear of all the finger-licking goodies the holiday bring. Instead, continue embracing everything from turkey to pie to hot chocolate…so long as you eat in stride, pick up a few healthy choices every now and then, and find some time to continue exercising. The holidays don’t have to leave you feeling like a regular Santa Claus and you don’t have to step up the diets, either. Arm yourself with these simple healthy tips and you can continue enjoying your holiday season without the regular weight gain fears. ‘Tis the season to a happy and healthy you.

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