It’s that time of year where foods, sweets and temptations are in an abundance! Most of us struggle with trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle this time of year while allowing ourselves to enjoy the indulgences. But how can we really manage a healthy balance this time of year? Below are 5 healthy habits that can help get you through the holidays!
1 – Take the extra step – When parking your car opt for a space that is close to the farthest from the entry. This extra distance will give you those extra steps to burn just a few extra calories, and if its snowing add a little speed to that walk to get yourself to the door faster and burn a little more. Opt for the stairs vs the elevator as much as possible. Working the big muscle groups of the legs helps to burn more than standing statically in the elevator.
2 -Use smaller plates and slow down – This time of year many of us pile on our plates with the delicious and decadent meals we have been yearning for all year. If you use a smaller plate it will limit how much food can actually be put on the plate and will make you feel like your portions are larger than they are in reality. Also, remember that you can always go back for seconds. So start conservatively, eat what is on your plate and allow yourself 20-30 minutes to digest. While eating take the time to really enjoy each bite and enjoy the food with all of your senses. If you still are craving that extra piece of pie after waiting allow yourself to enjoy the indulgence. Deprivation will only derail you so allow yourself to consume the foods you enjoy but do so MINDFULLY.
3- Hydration- Drink water consistently throughout the day. Dehydration can frequently be confused for hunger. Try to drink at least 8 fl. oz. of water every hour to help keep dehydration at bay. Opt for water, which is calorie free, as opposed to that diet soda or sugary drinks that just leave you craving more sweets.
4- Small meals before Holiday Party – Try to consume a small meal prior to attending that work or friends holiday party. Ensuring that you are not famished upon arrival to the party can help reduce the amount of food consumed through grazing at the party. Arriving on an empty stomach may cause you to overindulge in the snack foods at the party. Consume a nutritious and balanced meal prior to attending and help to keep hunger away throughout the night.
5 -30 minutes of Activity- Try to incorporate 30 minutes of activity into your day at least 3-4 x/week. Even if it means taking you dog for two 15 minute walks throughout the day. Take the time to get out of the house, do a quick workout video or a jog. Any activity that will increase your heart rate, keep you away from the food and get your body moving will help keep calories burning.
Remember, the holiday season occurs once a year so it’s important that we enjoy it. Take the time to enjoy the company of friends and family as well as all of the delicious meals and decadent desserts we don’t get throughout the year. Just do so mindfully and use these healthful habits to keep you healthy through the holiday season!
Happy Holidays from Bedford PT!