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When we think of the upcoming holiday season, we don’t necessarily relate it to healthy living. Rather, it’s a battle to not lose our minds at the dessert table. Every year, we have the purest of intentions to keep our health routine on track and not give in to the constant onslaught of temptation. “I’m going to be good!” “I’m only going to have one cup of eggnog.” “No carbs for me!” The reality is that we’re not going to be perfect and the next two months will test our self-control.
A few simple tips can help you keep on track and enjoy the holidays without feeling rundown and growing a jeans size.
1. Drink water. We hear this mantra time and time again, but it’s true. Water is one of the best things we can do for our bodies and most of us are not drinking enough. Staying hydrated keeps our bodies flushed of impurities. It’s great for our skin and hair, especially during the dry winter months.
Water is a great appetite suppressant. When you’re feeling those afternoon munchies coming on, have a glass of water before you hit the pantry. And don’t forget to have a glass or two before you go to one of the many parties you’ll be attending over the next couple of months.
2. Don’t Forget to Exercise. We’re all busy and workout routines might need to be adjusted, but make sure you find time to break a sweat. Even just 30 minutes three to four times a week can make a difference. If you need extra motivation, find a workout buddy to go with you. A little accountability can help get you to the gym.
3. Have Realistic Expectations. Now is not the time to decide to completely swear off sugar and/or carbs. Really? What are the holidays without a little indulgence? Set health goals that you can realistically keep so that you don’t hate yourself after eating eggnog and cookies at the neighbor’s Christmas party. Try focusing on not going back for seconds. . . or thirds. It’s all about moderation.
4. Everyday Is Not a Party. Once we start going down that road of indulgence, it’s so easy to just keep on going. Most holiday events are on the weekends. Try focusing your weekdays on eating more healthy. Make a point to back off the sugary treats during the week and eat more fruits and vegetables that are currently in season (apples, squash, cauliflower, pumpkin, cranberries, broccoli, etc.). There is a lot less guilt on Friday night if you know you’ve stuck to your healthy habits all week.
5. Get Some Sleep. There is so much going on during the holidays, that we can easily become tired and stressed out. In addition to all the fun, we also battle fatigue and the dreaded flu season. The best thing we can do for ourselves is make sure we are getting enough sleep. Adequate sleep helps us have the physical and emotional energy that we need to enjoy the season.
The holidays are all about spending time with family and friends. Enjoy this time of year and still feel great!