Top 10 Healthy Holiday Habits
The holidays are coming and with it are many health challenges. Here are 10 tips on maintaining your healthy lifestyle:
Tip 1: Keep your health goals on track
It is really easy to let all of your healthy lifestyle goals go during the holidays. People tend to drop their healthy eating habits and activity during these times with plans to start back up after the holidays however, starting again can be hard to do.
Sticking to your health goals throughout the holiday season makes it easier to keep your health on track.
Tip 2: Make a plan
It can be really hard to make good choices for healthy eating during the holidays; there is always a large variety of foods and holiday treats around.
Make a plan to help keep your health goals in mind. Think about where you will be, what types of foods you think will be there and what your going to prepare for your company. Make mindful choices about the foods you really want to eat.
Tip 3: Vegetables
The saying “my eyes are bigger than my stomach” is very true. When faced with a variety of foods people tend to fill their plates with high fat, high calorie foods.
Always look at the buffet/potluck options before dishing up your plate. Start with making half your plate vegetables.
Tip 4: Spoil your appetite!
Don’t go to parties hungry. Usually parties are full of foods that are high fat and high calorie. If you are hungry when you get to the party, you will be more likely to overeat and less likely to make healthy food choices.
Spoil your appetite before going to the party by eating your regular meals or having a small snack before you go out.
Tip 5: Watch your portion sizes
Watching HOW MUCH you eat is just as important as watching WHAT you eat.
Use your plate as a tool to help guide portions. 1/2 of your plate should be vegetables, 1/4 meat or protein and 1/4 grains or starches. Learn to say “no thank you” and “ I’m full” when someone encourages you to have more. Make sure to wait 20 minutes after you finish your meal before going back for seconds. Enjoy your meal and give your brain time to realize it is full.
Tip 6: Choose your drinks wisely
Remember that alcoholic drinks, soda, fruit punch and egg nog are all high in calories. Water, diet sodas, skim or 1% milk and 100% juice (limit juice to 1/2 cup per day) are better choices.
Have one glass of your favourite drink then switch to a low calorie drink for the rest of the night.
Tip 7: Keep a drink in your hand
At many events, eating tends to be social, which means that you are eating while you visiting and not paying attention to what you are putting in your mouth. Holding a low calorie drink will keep your hands busy and you will be less likely to eat things without
thinking about it first.
Hold the drink in the hand that you would use to grab food, and sip slowly throughout the evening. Make sure to socialize away from the food table.
Tip 8: Get moving!
Make physical activity a part of your celebration by choosing fun forms of activity for the whole family. Indoor actiivites such as charades, dancing, bowling and outdoor activities such as skating, sleeding, building a snowman or skiing are great ways to meet your activity guidelines.
Tip 9: Celebrate the Occasion, not the food
Events tend to revolve around food and it often becomes the focus of the celebration.
Keep in mind why you are celebrating or getting together in the first place. The focus should be on enjoying the company of family and friends.
Tip 10: Make your favorite recipes healthier
Small changes to a recipe can keep the taste the same while trimming the fat and calories.
Instead of…… Use……
1 whole egg 2 egg whites
Sour cream Low fat plain yoghurt
1 cup fat (butter/lard) ½ cup unsweetend apple sauce and ½ cup oil
Heavy cream 2 tbsp flour and 2 cups skim milk
Cream Cheese/Cheese Light cream cheese/low fat cheese
Food for Thought
Most people celebrate the holiday season with food. However, there are many other events throughout the year that also include food. These strategies can be applied at birthdays, potlucks, vacations and work events.