Posted by: BeneFIT Corporate Wellness
Date: December 10, 2019
Are you finding it hard to stay on track with healthy eating and exercise during the holiday season? You aren’t alone. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that the average American gains 1-2 pounds during the month between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Weight gain isn’t hard to account for as stress and caloric intake tend to increase over the holidays while exercise regimens can be negatively impacted by the weather and an increase in social engagements. This year take steps to prioritize your health and wellness while also enjoying holiday celebrations. Below are a few suggestions to keep you on track:
- Don’t skip meals, eat breakfast, and stick to a normal eating schedule. If you “save up” for one big meal you are likely to overeat because you are so hungry by the time the meal rolls around.
- Fill your plate before you start eating and aim to make at least half of your plate veggies. Filling up on high fiber foods will make you feel fuller sooner.
- Focus on your favorites. Everyone has holiday favorites that can and should be enjoyed in moderation. When filling up your plate, focus on those foods and leave the ones you aren’t as crazy about.
- If attending a potluck bring something healthy you know you will enjoy. This increases the chances of you filling up on healthier options.
- Eat beforehand, or better yet, don’t show up ravenous. You are much more likely to over-indulge if you haven’t planned ahead.
- Plan activities that don’t focus on food. Many holiday celebrations involve food. Try to find fun, active things to do with your family and friends other than eating. Go for a hike, play flag football, or have a family game night.
- Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol limits inhibitions and resolve – like sticking to a healthy eating plan. It also can quickly add up in calories! Moderation is the key.
- Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. When we get busy, often sleep is the first thing we sacrifice in order to meet other demands. Getting enough sleep helps us manage our mood, stress, and appetite.
- Stay hydrated and drink water. Adequate water intake can decrease cravings.
- Enjoy the holiday spirit. Regardless if the holidays for you are just a relaxing break, dedicated family time, or spiritual in nature, focus of the reason of the holiday.
- Remember that no one is perfect and you aren’t expected to be either. If you overindulge at a party it does not mean you should throw in the towel for the whole season. Forgive yourself and get back to working toward your wellness goals.
Wellness routines like exercise, sleep, and healthy eating often suffer during the holidays. This year approach your holiday celebrations with a plan to concentrate on your own well-being and don’t be surprised when you see a healthier you in 2020!
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