4 Keys to Staying Healthy—and Trim—through the Holidays
If you value health and fitness, you may worry about seasonal weight gain. Though it’s common for many, packing on holiday pounds is not inevitable─despite the fact that celebratory foods are often very high in calories. With a few clever tips, you’ll remain trim through the holidays while enjoying delicious meals and festivities more than ever:
Guard against stress eating
Though joyful, holidays can also be stressful, between family/social obligations, shopping and entertaining. This can set you up for stress-induced snacking, especially when surrounded by holiday goodies. Be sure to protect yourself with healthy choices between celebrations. Whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, grains and lean proteins will energize you and help ensure steady blood sugar levels. Arm yourself on the go with smart, portable snacks like almonds, protein bars, string cheese, apples, and carrot sticks.
Outsmart the buffet
In buffet settings, give healthy items center stage with high-fat/sugar choices playing smaller roles. Sample small amounts of many different dishes, which will be more satisfying and less calorie-intensive than big helpings of rich foods. Emphasize veggies, salads, and lean protein like turkey and seafood, while minimizing buttery mashed potatoes, heavy stuffing, candied yams, and white bread and rolls. When eating, take your time and enjoy, as it takes at least 20 minutes for your system to register that you’re full.
Be strategic with sweets
If you’re set on dessert, try a bite of several treats rather than one large item. Select with care. For example, chocolate mousse pie is actually one of the leaner options, with around 247 calories and 15 fat grams/slice. Your next best bet is pumpkin pie, at 316 calories and 14 fat grams/slice. One of the highest calorie picks is pecan pie at 503 calories and 27 grams of fat for a single slice. Top that with sweetened whipped cream and you’re up to 807 calories and 49 fat grams.
Maintain your exercise regimen
During busy times, maintain your fitness. Along with helping you stay trim and energized and moderating stress, daily exercise also promotes a healthy immune system. It may also help counteract the “holiday blues” some people experience. Make fitness a social event by sharing power walks and nature hikes with family and friends.
Most importantly, savor the holiday season. By making smart choices, you’ll feel better, have more energy, and enjoy your time with friends and family more than ever. Cheers!