December 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm
by Irina Gonzalez
I love the Holiday Season.
I love decorating my house with festive twinkly lights and a fresh Christmas tree. I love buying gifts for my loved ones and checking out all of the great shopping deals. I love putting on some Christmas music and spending an evening with friends and family eating some holiday cookies and snacking on spinach hummus.
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is filled with lots of social obligations that very often involve eating. I really love this part of the Holiday Season too but as I countdown to Christmas, I know that I also want to keep things healthy. Gaining weight is almost a standard during the holidays, but it doesn’t need to be. Here’s what I’m doing (and what you can do, too!) to stay healthy and continue being a diet success during this season:
1. Don’t forget about portions: As I was telling a coworker earlier today, I have small ways to stay on top of my portion control. I ever only eat half a bagel at a time and I always remind myself that portion sizes is what keeps the weight off. With so much food everywhere, it’s easy to lose track of this part. But you know what works? Don’t load up your plate to the brim. And don’t go back for seconds. Remember: that second plate isn’t going to taste any better than the first one. Eat a great meal once and then move on.
2. Keep getting support from others: After a couple weeks of not going, I went back to Weight Watchers last night. I made sure to book a date with my WW buddy (my best friend!) and we went to a meeting to weigh in and talk about our holiday concerns. Just being there helped to remind me that I have a supportive network. This also includes telling my family that I am keeping healthy. Don’t be afraid to speak up and let others know that you’re watching your weight. People will often surprise you with their encouragement.
3. Fit in exercise when you can: My plan is to keep walking 20 minutes each day during my lunch break. I’m also going to try this 10-minute workout to burn off holiday treats on the weekends. Who doesn’t have 10-20 minutes to spare a day? If you usually spend that time relaxing in front of the television, then stand up and do some toning exercises. I know that this time of year is really busy for everyone (myself included!) but I think taking some quality time for yourself is just as important as devoting time to family. Don’t forget that you matter, too.
4. Plan ahead as much as possible: Along with telling my family that I’m keeping healthy, one of my favorite strategies is to plan ahead for holiday get-togethers. I know there will be lots of cookies shared but there’s no reason why I can’t offer to bring a healthy holiday dish to the table, whether I’m going to a family gathering or a friend’s event. If I’m going somewhere that I know I’ll be having dessert, I will also stay mindful about what I’m eating earlier in the day. I’m not saying don’t have the dessert, I’m just saying don’t also have a heavy pasta lunch the same day.
5. Adopt a healthy and flexible attitude: It’s really important to be conscious of making healthy choices during the holidays. Actually, it’s important to do that 365 days a year (or 366 days during leap years like in 2012). But I am also a huge advocate of giving yourself a break. You aren’t going to have any fun if you drive yourself crazy with being 100% perfect and on track of your healthy habits. My final tip is to be as healthy as you can, but also let yourself relax a little bit. It’s not the end of the world if you go for that 2nd piece of pie, just don’t do it again the next day.
Although I don’t yet know what Christmas recipes I’ll be making, I do know that (thanks to my tips) it’s going to be a good holiday. Here’s to a healthy, fit and happy season!
How are you staying healthy during this Holiday season? Are you keeping track of your calories, making healthier meals, exercising when you can? Share your tips and suggestions in the comments below!