With the change of season comes a change in our eating and exercise habits – more food and less exercise. Now that the holidays are fast approaching, it generally means more traveling, eating, and relaxing and less physical activity. By the time New Year’s rolls around, we arm ourselves with resolutions to take off those extra holiday pounds and get back on the treadmill. But with a little advanced planning, you can avoid the holiday bulge and save your New Year’s Resolutions for other goals.
Maintain regular physical activity, even when you are traveling. Walking is great exercise and is something you can do on city streets, down country roads, upstairs and even in malls during inclement weather. Unable to walk? Spend a few minutes in the morning or evening doing stretching, abdominal crunches, pushups, leg lifts, or follow an exercise video. Staying physically active will help you ward off those unwanted holidays pounds.
Don’t go hungry! When heading to a gathering where you know there will be a lot of food served – do not arrive feeling ravenous. If you don’t eat enough during the day, thinking that you’re saving yourself for the party in the evening and then arrive there feeling so hungry that you could eat everything in sight – you just might! Don’t give yourself that chance. Eat small, healthy but satisfying meals throughout the day. Good choices include vegetable, tomato, or bean soups, salads (but watch the dressing!), lean protein such as sliced turkey or ham, tuna with low fat mayo, and low-fat cheese, cut up fruit and vegetables, and plain yogurt with nuts and dried fruit.
Choose wisely. Once you arrive at the holiday party, scan the buffet to get a sense of what foods are being offered and decide which of the indulgent goodies you would most like to have and limit yourself to a small amount of each – but not everything. Watch portion sizes – you can always go back for seconds so your best bet is to start with smaller amounts. You might surprise yourself and find that you are satisfied with less. Watch added fat and calories from foods like gravy, butter, and cheese and cream sauces. Load your plate with vegetables and other healthy choices such as sweet potatoes and whole grains such as wild rice. Choose the leaner protein sources such as turkey, baked ham and lean roast beef or brisket, but cut off any visible fat and poultry skin and limit the gravy. Take smaller amounts of foods like stuffing and mashed potatoes.
Allow yourself to have some dessert – just make sure the portion is small. Fruit is always a great choice if available. A small slice of beta carotene-rich pumpkin pie is also a good option. If you are craving a piece of chocolate cake, don’t deny yourself but do take just a small portion – and skip the whipped cream.
Don’tthink that alcoholic beverages are calorie free, especially drinks like egg nog. Drink in moderation. Better choices include wine spritzers (half sparkling water and half wine) and light beer. Sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice is a delicious, refreshing, low calorie drink.
Remember your daily multivitamin, especially during the holiday season. Because you may not be eating the right foods and missing out on key nutrients, your daily multi can help fill in any gaps to help keep you healthy through all the hustle and bustle! Find the Multivitamin that is right for you.
So eat, drink and be merry – but in moderation, and stay physically active and you’ll be off to a great start for the New Year!
This information is only for educational purposes and is not medical advice or intended as a recommendation of any specific products. Consult your health care provider for more information.
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