With the holidays on your doorstep, it might be a good idea to brush up on ways to stay healthy during the festive season.
Pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider, pecan pies and hot cocoa are all yummy fall foods luring you away from healthy summer salads. It’s easy to indulge in ways you wouldn’t outside of the holiday season, and since this season spans over two months, it’s easy to lose control. Here are five ways to enjoy all things sugar and spice without sacrificing your health or waistline.
- Indulge Wisely. All veggies and no pie makes Thanksgiving a dull day. Indulging isn’t always a bad thing, as long as you do it within reason. Enjoy that roast turkey, but only once. Don’t drink cocoa with whipped cream every day just because it’s winter. Order that Dirty Chai latte with non-fat milk. Prepare typical holiday recipes with less fat, sugar and salt, and when filling your plate, try small bite size portions of everything rather than large helpings.
- Stay Active. It is normal to slow down a little in winter, but especially after indulging, it’s important to keep up with your workout schedule. Check out our online guide to find out how much of a certain type of exercise it takes to burn calories. The CDC recommends being active 2.5 hours a week for adults and at least an hour a day for kids.
- Sleep More. The holiday season can be hectic, especially for parents with young children or large families. Take care to get plenty of rest and remember, every hour of sleep before midnight counts double!
- Enjoy Family Time. In the fray of things, it is sometimes easy to forget the holidays are supposed to be about family. The sitcom cliché of family fall-outs over Thanksgiving dinner is a cliché for a reason: it happens to everyone. Don’t worry if something goes wrong and try to enjoy having everyone close. Families are never perfect.
- Remain Stress Free: Plan large dinners ahead, make up a menu that allows for early preparation of dishes or organize a potluck. You can create online invitations for free which allow everyone to comment so all invitees are aware of what the others are bringing and you don’t end up with three pumpkin pies and no mashed potatoes.
For more dietary information or a healthy exercise plan, talk to your healthcare provider or sign up for our next Healthy Hearts Educational Series which is taking place November 12.