How to Be Healthy During the HolidaysMelanie Tawil
The parties can pile on the pounds and the stress this time of year, but you can escape the holiday season unscathed with these smart and calorie-conscious tips. Here’s how to be healthy during the holidays.
Find New Ways to Move
If your exercise routine feels laborious or tedious already, chances are you won’t get excited about doing it when you’re tired, overworked and overbooked. Instead of sticking to the same 30-minute jog or routine gym session, branch out and find new ways to move that sound fun to you.
Make Protein the Star
Holiday party spreads may offer a plethora of dips, chips, and vegetable or fruit platters, but one way to actually fill up and feel satisfied when faced with all those endless little bites is to make protein one of your plate’s primary features.
Go Meatless for One Meal a Day
Ample research shows that plant-based diets promote health. Go meatless for one meal a day to add some variety to your plates and enjoy foods that can help lower blood cholesterol levels, promote blood sugar control and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Stock Up on Sleep
While it’s not effective to bank sleep hours during the week in preparation for late nights out on the weekend, it is helpful to make a habit out of prioritizing sleep as often as possible. Adequate sleep is associated with better stress-management abilities and a healthy balance of hunger and satiety hormones (ghrelin and leptin, respectively). Inadequate sleep, which is defined as less than the recommended seven to nine hours per night, may lead to changes in appetite and mood.
Practice “Less Is More”
Instead of trying to taste all eight dessert varieties, the six dips on the snack table, and a sample of all four versions of the holiday stuffing pick one from each category to enjoy. Adopt the “less is more” philosophy as you fill up your plate at a holiday buffet or as you develop the menu for your own party.
Eat When You’re Hungry
It can be tempting to eat less during the day when you know you have a big party at night, but basic healthy eating can come down to honoring your hunger. An intense hunger, as the result of skipping meals or snacks to “save calories” for later, may actually trigger overeating later on.