Happy Healthy Holidays!
The holiday season is about family and food – and all too often, adding a few extra pounds to our waistlines. Although the holiday season is chock full of delicious dishes and treats, we’d all like to avoid the extra calories and added pounds that can come with the seasonal food. I’ll be the first to admit that I indulge in a few to many Christmas cookies and holiday beverages. However, being conscious of these decisions and having a game plan for proper diet and exercise, I am able to maintain my weight and fitness throughout the holiday season.
First and foremost, enjoy the holiday foods you love; just don’t overdo it. Having a treat once a week or even once a day (1 cookie) is a lot different than substituting a meal with goodies. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you need to abandon healthy eating habits. Continue to eat your daily salads, avoid grains during breakfast and lunch, and have a vegetable side dish (or two) at every meal.
Being physically active throughout the entire year is important to maintaining a healthy weight. This doesn’t change during the holidays; although it may be more difficult to squeeze in a workout. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes a week of physical activity. However, you can have the same health benefits in less time with higher exercise intensity. Try modifying your workout into something shorter, with a higher intensity. For example; pick 3 exercises, perform them in succession (without resting in between), until you have done 3 rounds. Take a break before starting another group of 3 different exercises in the same way. This is challenging! But you’ll finish a tough workout in under 30 minutes. This can be done at home or at the gym.
As the holidays approach, parties become numerous along with the challenge of keeping your commitment to healthy habits. With just a little preparation, you can keep off the extra holiday pounds and still enjoy all that the season has to offer. Listed below are my favorite Healthy Holiday Tricks, Enjoy!
Yours in health,
Dr. Eric O’Connell
Nutrition Tricks Exercise Tricks
Bring your own food to parties Shovel snow instead of using a blower
Eat healthy choices first Shorter, quicker exercise sessions
Eat before a party Go sledding/skiing/ice skating
Stick to favorite goodies Try indoor recreation
Eat until satisfied, not stuffed Go for a walk
Two drink limit for holiday beverages Plan ahead
Split desserts with someone Make a BIG snowman