The holidays are a major hurdle for those who are trying to stay healthy. Finding time to get to a gym seems almost impossible amid shopping trips and holiday parties. And forget nutrition. Who can think about a nice, healthy salad while staring at a plate piled high with hors d’ouvres?
Most people choose to give in to holiday temptations, with plans to lose the weight once January rolls around. But exercising a little restraint during the holidays can make for a rewarding New Year.
“What a gift to yourself to lose that 10 or 15 pounds during the holidays,” says Jen Crowley, clinical nutrition manager at Shore Memorial Hospital. “Then you start the New Year with a more positive outlook and sense of self.”
Crowley offers these suggestions for staying healthy through the holidays:
- Plan ahead – It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday melee and end up skipping meals. But skipping breakfast or lunch will only make you less conscious of making healthy choices come dinnertime. Schedule meals into your holiday agenda and stick to it. Do the same with workouts at home or the gym.
- Snack before the party – Don’t wait until the party to eat. Grab a handful of almonds, a yogurt or a piece of fruit while you’re getting ready at home so you aren’t tempted by unhealthy party snacks.
- Make healthy party food choices – “Go straight for the vegetable and fruit platters and munch on that,” Crowley says. Try to steer clear of more fattening options.
- Sharing – The holidays are all about sharing, food included. If you have a need to indulge in something sweet, Crowley recommends splitting your dessert with your date.
- Exercise at home – If allocating time for the gym is out of the question, find short but effective workouts you can do at home. “There are so many exercise videos on Comcast’s On Demand that you can do in your living room,” Crowley says.
- Avoid the bar – Moderate drinking is defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. By following these guidelines you can avoid drinking in extra calories, and save yourself some embarrassment at the company holiday party.