8 Tips to Keep Your Health on Track During the Holiday Season
The average American gains five pounds during the holiday season. Family obligations, additional commitments at added social events all contribute to “being busy”. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season knock you off track and make you neglect taking care of yourself. I have listed some simple steps you can take to help keep you focused and take care of your body this holiday season.
- Drink plenty of water. Our bodies are made of up roughly 60% water. Water not only keeps or bodies functioning at optimal levels it helps keep us full. Aim to consume at least 8 cups of water per day. Keep a full refillable water bottle with you at all times and sip frequently.
- Order smart when dining out. Skip the appetizers or fill up on a mixed green salad. Restaurant portions are large. Ask for a take out container and place half in it to go. Better yet, split an entree with a friend .
- Remember that food is fuel and we need it to live. Try and eat plenty of plant-based foods that include, beans, legumes, whole grains, leafy greens, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cook with vegetable broth instead of added fats. Utilize kitchen tools such as the slow cooker to save on time. Plan meals ahead of time and cook and freeze leftovers for a later meal. Try my easy to make Black Bean Soup or Uzbek Vegetable Stew.
- Fill up on veggies. Fill your plate once at the buffet and make sure it is loaded with items from the fresh veggie platter or fresh green salad. Dip veggies in hummus and use fresh lemon juice or vinegar and pepper to dress a mixed green salad.
- Enjoy the colder weather and eat soup. Stay away from the creamy soups on the menu as they are loaded with fat and calories. Instead choose soups with clear broth and lots of veggies. Think garden veggie soup. If you are cooking at home try eating soup for dinner. My veggie version of Vietnamese Pho is a one dish meal (you can even use cheater veg stock instead of making your own in order to save time).
- Limit alcoholic beverages. Yes, it is that time of year that you may want to indulge in a cocktail or two. Keep in mind that alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and is digested similar to a fat / carbohydrate. Too many cocktails packs on the pounds and causes dehydration. If you just can’t resist try alternating beverages with sparkling water.
- Get Moving. Keep the metabolism going and try increasing the workouts 30 minutes per day. Work at a moderately hard pace to get the heart pumping and blood flowing. Short on time? Go to bed wearing your sweat pants and wake up 30 minutes early to complete a DVD workout or go for a walk/run. Not only will you burn extra calories you may find that you have increased energy to help get you through the season.
- Reduce Stress. Take 5 minutes per day to live in the moment and remember to be thankful for what we have. Every day is an opportunity to love and be grateful.
Every choice we make affects our health. Be present and enjoy!
What do you do during the holidays to stay on track? Help others and share in the comments below.