Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which is the official start of “the Holiday Season”. The Holiday Season, typically defined at the time between Thanksgiving and New Years, is often a time when many people get off track with healthy habits. With colder weather, holiday baking traditions, and small gatherings (be safe this year with COVID-19), it is quite easy to push aside exercise and healthy eating.
While some people are able to indulge during the holiday season and refocus at the start of the year, there are others who lose total momentum and never regain the good habits previously started. Here are some simple strategies to help keep you on track throughout the entire Holiday Season.
Eat frequently. Saving all of your calories for a big holiday feast typically results in overeating. This is especially true for breakfast. Those who consistently eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day. Aim for 3 meals a day and at least 2 snacks and spread calories out throughout the day.
Watch portions. Many holiday feasts include a large array of dishes which invite you to come back for multiple helpings. Take a survey of the entire table before selecting any food. Choose what foods are worth trying, and which ones you can ignore. Watch your portion when you do select and keep to just one serving.
Watch out for liquid calories. Punch, eggnog, mixed drinks, and sodas can add up quickly. Instead, go for water, diet soda, light beer, or wine spritzers.
Hang out away from the food. Focus on socializing and keep the food table out of sight.
Have a snack. Try eating a protein based snack before a big meal or get together so you don’t arrive starving and more likely to overeat.
Focus on Veggies. Start by filling your plate with salad and vegetables first, and then move on to portion controlled entrees and desserts.
Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to realize you are full. Savor your food and don’t feel like you have to finish everything you put on your plate.
Other Helpful Tips:
Refocus. Focus on connecting with family, friends and colleagues, instead of over indulging in food and drink.
Stay Active. Keep a regular exercise routine. Aim for 150 minutes of cardio activity and 2-4 days of strength exercises weekly.
Get a pencil. Activity trackers, food logs, or simply just writing things on a calendar are excellent ways to keep tabs on your holiday health habits. Tracking makes you more aware of your choices and can be a great reminder if you start falling off track.
Skip the shame. If you get off track, don’t beat yourself up! Use this time as an opportunity to learn and do better next time. Set a new goal and move forward.
If you are in need of assistance in losing weight, we at Blue Sky MD are here to provide that guidance for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our health professionals to get you on the right path to a healthier you.