Your Holidays Can Be Happy and Healthy
BY KATELYN GOYETTE, IN SHAPE HEALTH CLUBS
The holidays are that wonderful time of year where we look forward to spending time with loved ones,eating lots of yummy food and taking a break from the responsibilities of daily life. However, we all know there are consequences to eating too much and not maintaining our regular workout routines. Here are some tips on how to avoid the most common side effects of holiday excess, and to staying on track during the season. Keep these few tips in mind, and your holidays will be merry and you will be light.
The key to making it through the holidays is portion control. Heaping plates of holiday goodies are hazardous to your waistline. So consider swapping the traditional large dinner plate for a salad or dessert plate that is usually about half the size. This simple switch will reduce your probability of overeating and, as a bonus, keep you from feeling like you need to hibernate after finishing your meal. Remember, if you are still hungry when you finish your plate, you can always go back for more.
As a matter of fact, there is absolutely nothing wrong with seconds. Let’s be real, we all love that second helping of amazing holiday food! However, if you approach seconds as another meal to be eaten a few hours later rather than right after your first serving, it will help your metabolism burn off that first serving of food. Eating too much food too soon is like throwing too many logs on a dying campfire. There is not enough fire (in this case, muscle mass) to burn all of that material!
Some of us even skip meals in anticipation of a big holiday meal. Maybe we want to save room for an extra helping of our favorite dish, or maybe we are just working too hard to create the perfect meal for our family. However you must remember that a holiday is no different than any other, and you need to start it right by eating breakfast. Eating a good breakfast, and making sure to eat a snack or a small meal every 2-3 hours, will help to boost your metabolism. It will also reduce the likelihood of overeating during the main meal as you won’t feel as hungry.
We are faced with decisions that influence our health on a daily basis, and holidays are no different. A pattern of bad choices can lead to a bad habit that can be extremely difficult to combat. So stop it before it starts. When you’re standing over the pie table and tempted to make a bad food choice, try drinking a big glass of water first. Remember, our bodies are mostly water. Sometimes, when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty. Not only will that big glass of water hydrate your body, you’ll save some calories, and keep yourself full and satisfied for a little while longer. Saying no is hard, but you can do it!
There’s no better time of the year than the holiday season to add fun to your regular fitness regime. Dance the night away at the office holiday party. Take a stroll in the California sunshine with your favorite pup. Hit the slopes or have a snowball fight with friends. Take the kids to the local ice rink. You’ll increase your heart rate and burn calories while making beautiful memories with those you love.
Most importantly, don’t wait until New Years to make your resolution. Resolve to have a happy and joyous holiday season filled with family memories, good food and lots of fun now. Happy Holidays!