Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

For many people, the holiday season is not only a time of joy and excitement, but also a time of added stress and frustration.  Maintaining healthy habits when we are busy and stressed can be difficult, but it is more important than ever to stay the course and make healthy choices.  Making up for it later and trying to get back on track can be even more of a challenge!

Around the holidays, there are so many temptations with special foods and beverages, and tons of extra calories tend to make their way into our mouths.  Embracing some strategies that will help you avoid overeating or overdoing other holiday activities will result in better overall health and wellness, and less effort trying to play “catch up” later on.  There are plenty of ways to still have fun and build wonderful and lasting family traditions—without sacrificing your healthy lifestyle!

Many people break down and give into temptation when they are stressed.  Because the holidays present a special challenge in this department—added stress plus special goodies to indulge in—it is especially important to keep your stress level in check.  Here are a few ways to lessen your stress and help you stay healthy during the holiday season:

  • Don’t wait until the last minute:  If there are things you can do ahead of time, then do them.  Take care of your holiday shopping over a period of weeks rather than trying to tackle it all in one weekend.  Do it far enough in advance so that the wrapping and preparing can be enjoyable, rather than a rushed chore.  Plan meals and buy non-perishable ingredients well in advance.  Bake pies and freeze them, rather than trying to get it all done before company arrives!
  • Rest up!  The holidays are so full of hustle and bustle that it is very easy to get caught up in the frenzy.  While you should enjoy your holiday parties and gatherings, be sure to not overbook yourself and make plenty of time for rest and relaxation.
  • Avoid overindulging!  This goes for both food and drinks.  It is okay to enjoy special holiday treats, but remember, “everything in moderation.”  Overindulging in unhealthy appetizers and desserts or too much alcohol will leave you feeling the effects for days.
  • Stick to your healthy habits:  As much as possible, continue with your already healthy lifestyle.  Be sure to not skip too many workouts during the busy holiday season, get enough sleep and stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.  These are the simple things that will help you stay properly energized and able to enjoy the holidays to the fullest.
  • Find healthy alternatives to your favorite holiday recipes that will result in fewer calories and less fat—without sacrificing the traditions and flavors of the season.  Try new, healthy options and begin a new tradition!  You can browse our recipes for inspiration.

The holiday season should be one to enjoy with your friends and family, and staying healthy should be a priority for everyone.  Too much stress and too much overindulgence will come back to haunt you when the calendar turns to January.  Don’t put yourself in the position of having to make a new start!  Keep your healthy habits in play all year round!

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