12.10.2014

8 Tips for Staying Healthy during the Holidays

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I just spent about 45 minutes frosting approximately 4 dozen Christmas sugar cookies with my mom. As I stood there, dipping freshly frosted cookies into teeny tiny sugar crystals (aka sprinkles), I couldn’t help but think about how indulgent these delicious little Christmas joys are…talk about a buzz kill. So it got me thinking…there’s no way that I could realistically NOT indulge in them…or many other traditionally holiday indulgences for that matter! Festive cocktails, Christmas cookies, rainy days in, delectable holiday entrees and dishes….these months simply beg for overindulgence.

So how do you avoid that? How do you avoid the temptation to indulge? Simply put, you don’t. However, what you CAN do is indulge itsy bitsy style. And since that’s pretty vague, we’ve expanded it here for you, with a few categories of some of the most infamous categories that seem to fall to the wayside around this time of year.

Physical Health:

With any and all of your days off this season, try to capitalize on that extra time! For me, I’m not willing to spend all my PTO at the gym, but I AM willing to put in another 20 minutes or so.

Going Christmas shopping? Park FAR away and use the escalators/stairs and pick up the pace a bit! This not only saves on time wasted scouring the parking lot for the closest spot possible, but burns a few extra calories in the midst of the shopping madness!

Stress:

Organize, organize, organize! Make shopping lists, to-do lists, budget, etc.! This being the most hectic, demanding time of year, lists and budgeting are life-savers. They save time and help add some control in a season where, let’s face it, you can see the loss of control on all sources of media.

Ask for help: This is NOT the time of year to be superwoman (or superman for our man readers!) Hosting a party? Make it a BYO [your choice of beverage here], make it a cookie exchange, or ask others to bring a few dishes so you’re not stuck doing it all. Also, when I’m at work and realize that I need something done ASAP, I shoot a quick text to my mom and ask if she can help me out while she’s at home (i.e. “Hi, do you have any time to take that belt back to Target?”) I’m fortunate enough to have a mom who loves to help out!

Food/Baking

I’ll be honest, I’m probably the most guilty of all people of letting my healthy diet just completely go this time of year (don’t tell my doctor). I justify it by telling myself that it’s simply impolite to go to a holiday party and not eat or drink. So I end up going crazy on finger foods (that often end up being higher in calories that a regular healthier entrees!) My solution: Eat a plate of healthy snacks before I get there. These snacks include a Kind bar, an apple, etc. This curbs my starving appetite which makes my eyes at least the same size as my stomach when I get to the party.

Substitutions! This weekend when we were making snickerdoodles, our dad asked Shannon how much butter the recipe called for. The answer: 2 sticks, which equals 1600 calories……!!!! I was floored when I learned this. Our solution: substitute the butter with one cup of applesauce, coming in at 80 calories. There was zero taste difference, but we saved ourselves about 1580 calories!! Holy Rudolph!

Parties:

I won’t say no to a festive, seasonal cocktail. It’s my way of “appreciating the season.” My solution: If I know I’m going to be drinking my calories later, I go lighter on the carbs during the day, since that’s essentially what alcohol is.

The 1:1 Ratio: In full disclosure, I get nasty hangovers. And it doesn’t take much. And one of the things I do to bring this upon myself is completely neglect to drink water. So we’ve initiated the 1:1 ratio: for every one drink you have, drink 1 glass of water before moving on to the next.

It’s simply not practical to be restrictive this time of year. Whenever I try, I end up feeling like I’m somehow cheating Christmas. However, mixing moderation and balance with indulgences leaves me feeling fulfilled but not FULL in an unpleasant way. It’s all about balance right?!

Comments

  1. I need to start implementing the 1:1 ratio, too! p/s feel free to send some of those frosted cookies my way 😉

  2. I simply stick with my usual food sequence and portion. For exercise, brisk walking or a simple cardio or zumba is good.