Hanukkah has begun, and Christmas and Kwanzaa are only days away. Gifts, family, good food and sparkling lights are tokens of the holiday season, but so is the reality of unwanted weight gain. During the holidays many people find themselves immersed in family activities and surrounded by rich homemade dishes and treats. It’s hard to keep up a healthy lifestyle during a season when we celebrate all the good things that we have. The year is coming to a close and soon we will be heading into 2012 with every intention to trim our waistlines. To avoid the regret that can come with the holiday weight gain, here are some tips from GreenCupboards.com to help you keep up with a healthy lifestyle during the holidays.
Drink lots of water: Hot chocolate, warm buttered rum, peppermint mochas, and apple cider are all traditional treats during the holiday season. Keep in mind that they are just that: a treat. There’s no shame in indulging your taste buds with a warm cup of cocoa, but limit splurging. To stay hydrated, keep a BPA free water bottle handy. Need something warm? Add a tea bag to your water. Studies have shown that green tea can increase your body’s ability to metabolize fat.
Go for a walk: Whether you’re driving or flying to your holiday destination, your legs will appreciate a good stretch. Hectic holiday situations that increase stress may be diffused by taking a quick break. Go for a walk around the block, to a nearby park, or look at the holiday decorations in town. Need some one on one time with a loved one? Bring them along and check out the holiday lights in your neighborhood.
Small plates and portions: Often holiday weight gain is caused not by what you eat, but by how much. There’s no use refusing a slice of grandma’s pie, so instead insist on a small portion. If you’re craving something it’s better to eat a little bit rather than try to satisfy your craving by filling up on “healthier” options. At parties use the smallest plates and allow yourself small portions.
Active family bonding: Although it’s nice to stay warm and cozy inside, there are lots of fun activities waiting in the winter wonderland. Instead of settling in for a board game, suggest a family snowball fight, build a snow fort or a snowman, go skiing, sledding, or snowboarding. No snow this holiday season? Try a family game of football, tag, or go for a bike ride.
Manage your time: Eat regularly! The one for sure way to overindulge at the neighbor’s party is to go without a decent meal all day. Although there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, the two major causes of weight gain during the holiday season are lack of sleep and skipping meals. Eat a small meal or salad before heading to a holiday party, and try to get in some time to relax and catch some Z’s.
Wishing you happy holiday’s from the GreenCupboards.com team!