In the midst of the holidays, the excitement of family, friends and parties can derail the healthy habits of even the most disciplined individuals. Over a lifetime, holiday weight gain can really add up. The National Institutes of Health find that holiday eating can accumulate at a rate of 1-2 extra pounds every year. A few tips are included below to help you prevent weight gain and stay happy and healthy during this festive time of year.
It is key to be aware and selective of your food intake, especially as many will attend several holiday events with buffets or beautiful spreads of high fat party food. If the party you are attending encourages guests to bring a dish, bring a healthy option for yourself such as hummus and veggies. Be selective at the buffet, and fill your plate with healthy fruits and veggies before moving on to the less healthy options. Once you fill your plate, engage in conversation with other party guests and move away from the spread of food. Eat slowly and only eat until you are 80% or comfortably full. Overeating can cause stomach upset and not allow you to enjoy the event.
Taking care of yourself during the busy holiday season will allow you to be less tempted to indulge in high calorie foods. Be sure to get plenty of sleep as reduced sleep can trigger stress hormones that lead to weight gain. Even though the holidays are a busy time, make exercise a priority. Walking 30 minutes a day, or two-15 minute power walks can be extremely beneficial. Many communities also offer a holiday fun run or charity walk. Check your local event listings to find events in your neighborhood such as a “Jingle Bell Run” close to Christmas that can include the whole family.
Making a few small changes in your daily habits can help you make health a priority during the holidays and throughout the year. Join us a Motion Physical Therapy in creating healthy, fulfilling lives. From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!