Avoiding the Holiday 15

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As everyone begins to come out of their Thanksgiving food comas and realize that it’s December, holiday excitement is loaded into maximum overdrive.  There are so many things to be joyful about as we get closer and closer to the holidays like decorating EVERYTHING, ugly Christmas sweaters, spending time with family and friends and shopping for gifts.  But hands down the greatest thing about the holidays is the food!!! Who doesn’t love having an excuse to bake five batches of cookies and consume two gallons of hot cocoa? Unfortunately for a lot of people, this food frenzy comes with some consequences.  Here are some awesome and helpful tips to avoiding gaining weight over the holidays.

Don’t Ditch Your Workout

The colder it gets the less inclined people are to leave the house.  Going to class is enough of a struggle even with motivation, let alone going to the gym in thin clothing and working out.  If you’re the kind of person who would rather stay home, listen to Christmas music and light a cookie scented candle, you’re not alone! You don’t have to give up exercise though.  There are a lot of great workouts that you can find online or that you can make up yourself that don’t involve the equipment and weights that you’re used to using at the gym.  Bodyweight workouts are super effective and don’t require anything extra. Also, during those cold winter days it’s easy to feel fatigued and sluggish.  Working out consistently will give you more energy throughout the day to keep you going. 

Check Yourself

During the holidays, a wardrobe favorite for most people is warm, chunky sweaters with leggings and boots. Who wouldn’t want to spend each cold day cocooned in their favorite ugly sweater and fuzzy socks? The downside to this comfy trend is that you turn into a giant marshmallow.  It’s easy to lose sight of your physique when you wear leggings and sweatpants with an elastic waistband.  Sweaters are cute and cloak you with good vibes, but it also takes the shape away from your figure. One good way to keep things in check is to wear your jeans.  Go through the day a little less comfortable by wearing your favorite skinny jeans that you wore only a few months earlier with a clingy top.  I don’t think that weighing yourself constantly is a healthy habit, so this is a good alternative to make sure you’re not tipping the scale without becoming obsessed with those little numbers.

Keep Your Diet Balanced

It’s almost impossible to resist holiday treats and it seems like they become available to us earlier and earlier each year.  Sometimes you just have to spend a day drinking eggnog and eating cookies and chocolate bark until you turn into a ball of cookie dough yourself.  So when you have days like this, making your main meals a little lighter can leave you feeling less guilty.  This may not seem fun during the holidays.  Who really wants to eat a boring salad when you could be stuffing your face with chicken pot pie and dinner roasts? But healthy doesn’t have to be boring! There are a ton of warm and hearty soup recipes that are perfect for blustery winter evenings that are actually healthy. You can even find great salad recipes that are full of squashes and healthy grains that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. 

Read the Facts

One of the greatest things about holiday food and drink is the amazing treats that you’ll find at places like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts as they bring back our favorite hot drinks and pastries.  It’s nice to treat yourself every once in a while with a Caramel Brulée Latte and seasonal cake pops, but it’s helpful to have an idea of the nutrition facts.  A lot of the time people don’t realize how much sugar and how many calories are in festival holiday drinks and desserts.  Being more aware of what exactly you’re putting into your body may help limit how often you indulge in these treats.  Don’t be afraid to ask! In the past few years, consumers have become more interested in nutrition so most places now list the nutritional facts on their websites (or even on the menu itself!) so you can always know what’s in your order. It’s also super easy to do the “skinny” version of these drinks.  The Peppermint Mocha drink at Starbucks comes “skinny.” Also, you can simply ask for no whipped cream on top or settle for a small instead of medium or large sizes. And when you want to grab a snack as well, split it with a friend! A lot of the pastries in coffee shops tend to range from 300-500 calories, but splitting it still satisfies your sweet tooth and prevents a sugar rush. 

Enjoy the Holiday Season

It’s important to stay healthy even when you don’t want to and to give your body what it needs, but it’s also okay to let yourself indulge a little.  You can’t bake cookies and drink hot chocolate and eat homemade treats from grandma all year round, so take advantage of it while you can! It’s okay to eat an entire batch of those holiday themed slice-and-bake sugar cookies while watching Christmas movies and decorating the tree.  It’s fine to let yourself go and get a little doughy during the happiest time of the year.  What’s most important is keeping a balanced lifestyle and being happy. 

Hopefully these tips and tricks will help keep you feeling your best even as we’re tempted by the yummiest foods of the whole year.  It’s not hard to stay healthy and in the shape, even when it’s cold out and you want to be in a blanket burrito.  But it’s also okay to indulge and enjoy the season as you’re surrounded by family, friends and love.  Happy Holidays!!

 

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