3 Tips to Staying Holiday Healthy
The holidays are here and it’s time for celebrating, including family gatherings, office parties and fun with friends. But be careful – the average person can gain 10lbs between now and January 1st. After all, this is the time of year where most people indulge in festive dinners, alcohol, and holiday treats.
For many, this time of year is a choice between completely depriving themselves or abandoning their healthy habits. Remember, balance is key. You can still enjoy the holidays and stay focused on the goals you want to attain. As I always say, small changes make BIG differences. The most important thing is to keep your eye on the prize – and you are the prize!
I truly believe you can stay holiday healthy this year if you follow these three simple tips. Whether you choose to focus on one or all, your body will thank you!
- Make conscious food choices
You may not be in full control of the foods offered at holiday parties or family gatherings, but you can certainly choose what you will eat and what you’ll choose to avoid. Studies continuously show that carbohydrates are the number one cause of weight gain. Stick with proteins and vegetables for the most part, and if you choose to eat any pasta, potatoes or breads, limit the total quantity to ½ cup per day. If you are attending a potluck dinner party, bring something you can eat! Assume all the other food served will be rich – high in fat, sugar, salt and calories! Bring veggies and dip – hummus is always a good option. Prepare a homemade meat or vegetable recipe or even bring a dessert. (You can follow me on Pinterest for lots of different meal and dessert ideas! http://www.pinterest.com/toweightloss/).
- Exercise regularly
One way to prevent gaining weight is to balance your excess food intake with exercise. You don’t have to start working out 5 times a week, but even adding 30 minutes of walking a day makes a difference. If you do belong to a gym, maximize your workouts by incorporating cardio and muscle strength training. The more muscle you build, the more calories you burn per minute, even while sitting! If you don’t belong to a gym, download the free app “Seven” for some high intensity interval training that you can do at home.
- Think before you drink!
Alcohol seems to be available in abundant amounts over the holiday season in every possible form. Whether your drink of choice is wine, beer or liquor you always need to keep in mind that alcohol contains “empty calories.” Each gram of alcohol contains 7 calories and zero nutrients. It prevents your liver from filtering out toxins and can affect your digestive system, mood and sleep! You don’t have to completely avoid alcohol, but think before you drink. Avoid liquors mixed with pop or juice and limit your wine and beer intake to one glass if you’re attending many parties or two glasses if you’re attending less. Know your choices. Vodka mixed with soda or water is the lowest calorie alcoholic beverage you can drink. If you want a zero calorie solution, stick with water! You can drink as much of this as your heart desires!
Wishing you a Happy Holidays!
Dr. Shelly Reitkop, N.D.