The holidays are often everyone’s favorite time of year—buying gifts for those we love and traveling to see the folks we only see once a year. However, interrupted schedules and the consumption of special foods often make this time of year one in which we put on a few extra (usually unwanted) pounds.
Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind as you enter the winter season of celebrations.
Walk before meals. Sources say one of the most important things you can do during the holidays is to remain active. While you may not be running a 5k anytime soon, little things like walking or jogging can make a difference in raising your metabolism and keeping your blood circulating. So, no matter how cold, don’t be afraid to bundle up and face the chilly air!
Smaller servings. Since we’re likely to go back for seconds anyway, taking smaller serving sizes out the first time can almost “trick” our bodies into thinking we’re full. Also, it’s wise to actually leave room for dessert, instead of stuffing ourselves past the point of where we can actually enjoy it.
Try everything. If you find yourself dining with a large group of people, chances are there will food that is foreign to you. Don’t be afraid to try things you’ve never eaten before, especially if it is a vegetable. Make sure your plate ends up being colorful, with lots of fruits and veggies.
Stay hydrated. The holiday season can be a time where we consume more alcohol than usual (we’re in festive spirits, right?). However, it’s also important to remember to drink plenty of water. Sources say drinking one full glass of water in between alcoholic beverages keeps us from consuming too many extra calories.
Bitter is better. While most of us go for the sweet treats, sources say consuming bitter foods, such as dandelion greens, chicory, burdock, and radishes are work to get our digestive juices flowing and our GI tracks ready to handle whatever we put its way.
Healthy dessert? While it may seem a bit of an oxymoron, sources say to avoid too many flour and sugar-heavy dishes, and opt for those homemade items, as they are likely to include less processed ingredients. Pumpkin or sweet potato pie is a good example of a “healthier” option.
Tackle illness early. No one wants to be sick during the holidays, so it’s important to be in tune with our bodies. If you develop a sniffle, pay attention to it and take measures to fight it off. Remedies such as elderberry syrup, garlic and ginger tea are inexpensive ways to fight off any warning signs of winter-related illness. We can boost our immune systems by eating extra veggies and getting plenty of rest, too.
Have fun. While most of us intend for the holidays to be fun, many of us end up finding ourselves more stressed than ever. Last minute shopping, preparing enormous meals, greeting family members, traveling, can all take their toll on us if we’re not careful. The important thing is to be mindful that this time comes only once a year. Remember what’s really important—such as being with family and getting rest. So what if you burn pumpkin pie or forget the stuffing. There’ll always be next year to get it right.
May your holiday season be filled with joy, peace, and good food, and special memories!