When the holidays roll around, many of us have a favorite treat (or 2 or 4…!) we look forward to every year. We may indulge a little more on food or drinks at parties, forgo our normal exercise routine because of colder weather or a busier schedule, or use the hustle and bustle as an excuse to eat out or make easier, less healthy choices. It should be no surprise then that the average American picks up about 1-2 pounds per year, typically in the couple of weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years. A pound or two certainly isn’t going to drastically impact your health, unless those pounds are never lost and continue to add up year after year–which is unfortunately what happens to most of us. Your health is important to us at All Smiles, so we compiled a short list of tips on how to enjoy the holidays (treats and sweets included!) while still maintaining your health.
1. Be mindful.
Don’t throw all healthy habits out the window. This makes it even harder to get back on track for the New Year. Continue to pay attention to what you eat, without depriving yourself of your favorites. Remind yourself of how good your body feels when you fuel it with healthy foods. Schedule in time to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals, as well as time to exercise–you’ll feel more energized to tackle your to-do list.
2. Be forgiving.
If you have a particularly indulgent meal, don’t give up for the whole day. Get back on track the next meal.
3. Be intentional.
If you are attending a pot luck, bring a healthy choice that you enjoy eating (vegetables and dip, fruit salad, etc.) . Eat a nutritious meal before attending an appetizer or dessert party, then only fill up a small plate with snacks, rather than arriving starving and overdoing it at the buffet.
4. Be realistic.
More foods are available around the holidays, and it’s perfectly okay to enjoy them! Moderation is key. Choose your absolute favorite goodies to enjoy, while foregoing those that you can “take or leave” . Once the holiday season is over, begin to clear the counter of chocolates, cookie trays, and chips, and resume healthful eating. Your body will thank you!