• This entry was posted in Fitness on December 22, 2015

  • It’s not easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle with your aunt begging you to try the double chocolate fudge peanut butter cookies she brought for this year’s holiday feast. “I’m watching what I eat,” or “I’m on a diet,” often prompts eye rolls, and exclamations of, “It won’t kill you! Just a bite!”

    Pressure aside, it’s hard to watch friends and loved ones consume tasty concoctions and endless wine while nesting on the couch, without being swayed to the “dark side.”

    Here are a few realistic tips for staying healthy, and eating and living with intention during the holiday season.

    1) Bring your own. There’s an abundance of healthy holiday cookies and dishes you can bring to a potluck or party this year. If you bring your own, you can guarantee at least one healthy item will be on the table. Plus, people will appreciate healthier choices amongst the heavier food more typical at holiday gatherings.

    2) Prepare your stomach. You never want to approach a holiday party or meal on an empty stomach. Always eat a solid snack with plenty of protein, like a handful of nuts, or peanut butter and celery, before going to an outing. It will keep you full enough to use your reason and refrain from diving for the eggnog and sugar cookies.

    3) Indulge. A little. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite treats completely. Snack slowly on one or two cookies, and enjoy a glass of red wine (one of the healthiest alcoholic drinks you can opt for). If you indulge a little, you’ll satisfy your sweet tooth. Refusing to eat anything unhealthy over the holidays could result in a secret midnight session with the cookie tray.

    4) Move it! We know the holidays are a time to relax and hang out with loved ones, but you’ll feel awful if you don’t find some way to incorporate movement into your holiday plans. Go for a walk as a group, or play an active game with the kids – physical activity makes for great quality time!

    5) Be careful what you drink. Seasonal drinks are loaded in calories – and alcoholic ones can tear apart any plans you had for eating mindfully. We’re more likely to consume unnecessary calories while drinking, so limit it to 1-2 drinks a night. Icing on the cake: the less you have to drink, the less likely you are to embarrass yourself. Don’t be that relative.

    It’s hard to stay healthy during the holidays. It’s a time of celebration and adventure after all – who wants to spend that time counting calories? But it’s not likely you’ll enjoy the wonder of the season if you’re feeling bloated, loaded, and weighed down by plates of turkey and mugs of mulled wine. Celebrate the season with cheer and your most ugly Christmas sweater, but don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process. With these five tips in mind, you can have fun, avoid the nickname “wet blanket,” eat mindfully, and start the New Year on a positive note.