Healthy Tips for the Holidays

Flickr user blucolt

‘Tis the season! The holidays, aka my favorite time of year, are just around the corner. Can you really think of a better reason to enjoy some hot chocolate by the fire place, spend quality time with loved ones, bake pumpkin pie, and indulge in a little eggnog and mulled cider? Not to mention all the fantastic holiday parties and sparkly outfits that go hand and hand with the upcoming months. The downside of all these festive treats and activities? The slew of calories that generally accompanies them. Not to worry, below are a few healthy holiday tips and tricks to make it through December and still fit into your New Year’s Eve dress. (Bonus- you can still have your pumpkin pie and eat it too!)

How to tackle the holiday party scene:

  1. Never arrive hungry. This is the number one healthy holiday tip! Always make sure you have a healthy snack before you go to a party. Take the edge off your hunger by eating a few slices of turkey breast, some veggies or fruit before you go. That way, you won’t be tempted to pig out on the cheese platter and dessert tray.
  2. Bargain with yourself. Make up little deals, such as allowing yourself 1 cookie after eating 5 healthy things.
  3. Count calories. I know, it’s annoying, but if you are aware of how many you’re consuming throughout the day, you will know how many you may eat at the party. If your friend makes the world’s best apple pie or you are planning on having a few cocktails, substitute your usual sandwich at lunch for a low-cal salad.
  4. Chew gum. Several studies have concluded that chewing gum before snacking can reduce your cravings and hunger. Plus, it keeps you occupied.
  5. Remember that the purpose of a party is to socialize, not to eat! Try making the rounds and talking to people first, instead of heading to the buffet table. You might find that you aren’t even hungry.

Other tips for a healthy holiday:

  1. Don’t skimp on your workout! In fact, try to increase them during the week. Add just a little bit more cardio to your general routine so that you can have an extra glass of wine or a second helping without the guilt.
  2. Sign up for a race. Lots of towns host races around the holidays, such as a 5k or 10k Turkey Trot. Participating in a race is a great way to stay active, get in the holiday spirit, motivate yourself to stay healthy in the coming days and even lose holiday weight.
  3. Remember to drink water! Water is one of the best things we can put in our bodies—it flushes out all the toxins (one too many holiday-tinis? Chug some agua!), hydrates skin in the dry winter months and keeps us hydrated, which minimizes hunger pains.

These aren’t just great tips for a healthy holiday, try and remember them year round as well!

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