It is that time of the year again, the holidays are here and we gather around family, friends, and delicious FOOD! We can already feel the holiday joy in the air and we thought this would be a great time to talk about how to stay healthy during this time of the year! Here are 7 tips for a healthy Christmas, whilst still indulging a little too!
1) Portion Control
This is an important one – we work hard all year and we deserve to treat ourselves during Christmas! Whether it be a chocolate cake, roast beef, or the holiday candies, if you crave it – then you shall have it! But let’s make sure we control the portion, cut your slice of cake in half and after you enjoy it, see if you want to go back and grab the rest of the cake. Make sure to watch the portions you put on the plate and if you decide you want more, go back for seconds.
2) Don’t Skip Your Workouts
Just because Christmas Day is in the month of December, doesn’t mean it lasts all month! Many tend to relax and use the holidays as an excuse to skip out on the regular exercise schedule. It is okay to skip the gym and spend more time with the family but try and still work out as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be excruciating, go outside and take a walk with the kids and the dog, or get an active game and play it with friends and family. It just takes 20-30 minutes a day to exercise. Stick to your workout routines and write it down so you can remember that you still worked out on your days off!
3) Keep Track
Keep track of what you ate and how much you’ve consumed. It might be a good idea to keep a mental note or even physically write down how much you are consuming over Christmas and the holidays. You don’t have to write everything down but just be aware of the amount you are eating, rather than the number of calories. Couple truffles, biscuits, piece of pie, and a box of chocolates can add up to a whole meal or more! Although you may feel like you haven’t really consumed very much. Being aware can make you think twice before eating another truffle or opening the next box of chocolates!
4) Eat Slowly
Always a good advice, but especially important on Christmas when there is so much good food around you. Chewing slowly will allow you to savor every bite and catch up with family and friends around the table. This will also allow your brain time to catch up and register when you are actually full.
5) Drink Sensibly
It is easy to gather around and drink a hot chocolate topped with whipped cream or sugary cocktails late at night. Drinks like these are packed with calories but you don’t necessarily feel full after drinking them. Alcohol can also deplete our bodies of important nutrients, suppress our immune system, disrupt sleep, upset digestion…. and the list goes on. Make sure you are hydrated and drink a glass of water in between meals and drinks. Try to keep the ingredients healthy as possible, like choosing skim milk instead of whole milk, fruit juice or smoothies can provide nutrients that can reduce the calories and even counteract the alcohol.
6) Surround Yourself with Super Foods
Turkey is a healthy protein source with loads of vitamins and you only need a little bit to feel full! Eat your turkey with some cranberries which is full of antioxidants and can reduce bad cholesterol. Grab a heavier portion of vegetables like brussel sprouts, carrots, and parsnip, which are featured heavily in Christmas dinners. Another great way to increase intake of super foods is by setting fruit bowls around the house so everyone can have the option to opt out for fruits instead of a piece of pie or a box of chocolates.
7) Be Realistic
Let’s be real, we are going to be treating ourselves a bit more than usual for the holidays. If you are trying to lose weight, it might not happen the week over Christmas but then again, it might. Some people might be completely fine stay on the healthy track over Christmas but for most, it’s just important to focus on maintaining. If your goal is usually to lose 2lb a week, try setting a new goal for the week over Christmas, like extra fruit or veg, or 20 minutes extra cardio.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays and if you have any additional questions about how to improve your diet and overall health, feel free to call and speak to one of our Valu-Med pharmacists at 40-741-1200.