Did you know that as a nation, we consume more calories on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year? Tradition has conditioned us to feast with family and friends on this day to honor the bountiful harvest of the country’s first settlers. Today, that bountiful harvest comes from the grocery store and brings with it the stress of planning, shopping, and cooking during the holidays, often alone. Entertaining family and friends comes with its own set of pressures. It is no wonder that we overeat during the holidays! The following tips will help you stay on track during this food-filled season.
Six Tips for Staying Healthy Through the Holidays
- Eat Normally Before Your Feast – Starving yourself before a party or big meal will not only increase your appetite but also adversely affect your mood. Pace yourself throughout the day by starting it with a healthy breakfast followed by a light lunch.
- Develop an Eating Plan – With abundance comes temptation, so create a plan to eat healthy before the holidays begin. Make food a part of the festivities, but not the sole purpose for them. Eat the food you love but don’t gorge yourself on them. Make your first helping last by eating slowly. Wait 10 minutes before going back for seconds, as it takes time for your brain to realize that your stomach is full.
- Drink Plenty of Water – Drinking water before and during a holiday meal will help fight hunger pangs, suppress your appetite, keep you hydrated, and boost your energy level. Consuming too much alcohol not only adds calories but also lowers your awareness of how much you are eating.
- Focus on the Occasion – Savor not only the meal but also the ambiance of the day. Feed all of your senses, not just that of taste, with the glorious sights, sounds, and smells of the holiday season. Enjoy the company of your family and friends. Spend time chatting with everyone, as talking is a wonderful way to avoid overeating.
- Keep Active – Maintain balance during the holidays by exercising. You can control your weight, reduce stress, and keep your body toned with a healthy workout. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, just move more during the day. Every extra step counts!
- Show Gratitude – Research on the nature of gratitude has shown that expressing gratitude can help both emotional well-being and physical health.
What are you doing to stay healthy throughout the holiday season?