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The winter holiday season is almost synonymous with food, and for good reasons. When it’s dark and cold outside, we compensate with warm, bright parties where we can spend time with family and friends. If unchecked, though, indulging at all those parties can have you adding weight loss to your New Year’s resolutions. Luckily, you can enjoy the holidays and ring in the New Year without fretting! Here are some tips to nudge you in that direction.
Have a Healthy Snack Before the Party
Just as you shouldn’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, don’t starve yourself in anticipation of all that delicious food. Before you head out to a holiday party, have a snack with healthy fats, protein, and fiber, which will keep you feeling satisfied and less likely to fill up on decadent treats.
Being at a party makes it so easy to graze all evening, without noticing what you’re eating. Not only can that pack on the calories, but you also may not even be tasting what you’re eating. That slice of your sister’s chocolate pecan pie deserves to be savored! When you’re eating, notice how it tastes, chew slowly, and wait a few minutes before you load up on seconds. The brain is slower than the gut when it comes to detecting satiety, so by eating more slowly, you can avoid that “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” feeling.
Alcohol intake can make consuming too many calories too easy. Wine, beer and cocktails can have anywhere from 150 to over 300 calories, and they don’t even make you feel full, so it’s easy to overindulge. Alcohol can also lower your ability to control what you eat, so keep the drinks to a minimum.
Keep it Moving
One thing that will help keep you healthy this holiday season is moving. Yes, your old friend physical activity will help you burn off those holiday cookies and keep your spirits up in the short daylight hours. Being active is also a great way to spend quality time with the friends and family you’re celebrating with. So, put on some music to cut a rug, or go out for a post-meal football game.
Above All, Enjoy Yourself
The holidays are all about gathering, community, and celebration. Don’t beat yourself up if you had a little too much eggnog — occasionally indulging will not undo all those healthy habits that you’ve practiced all year long. Put your focus on the people you are celebrating with, and enjoy the holiday cheer.
How do you stay healthy during the holiday season? Share your tips with us!