The holidays tend to be the most chaotic time of year for most families. Not only do we have to balance our normal daily grind, but we add holiday parties, shopping, decorating, family time and entertainment on top of it. The most common issue with the holiday season is time management. When we are limited on time, we tend to make poor food choices, skip workouts and even miss out on some much needed sleep.
This year, take a stand for your own sanity and implement the following “Healthy for the Holidays” tips:
1. Stock up on healthy meals. In October, prepare a few crock pot meals and freeze. This will help you stay on track and skip the fast food. It’s also a good idea to have a few easy snacks on hand for the kids. Regular or dried fruit, nuts and granola bars are perfect snacks that can be easily packed.
2. Make physical activity non-negotiable. It’s easy to skip a workout when you’re short on time. Schedule in physical activity no matter what to avoid the holiday weight gain. Go sled riding with the kids, walk around your building over lunch, hit the gym or do a home workout program that’s under 30 minutes. The more calories you burn, the less weight you will pack on, even with a few holiday treats.
3. Indulge on specific days. The entire month of December has somehow turned into a four week binge on cookies, cakes, gravy and pie. Pick specific days to indulge so you don’t feel guilty and don’t fall into the “holiday slump”. If Grandma’s home-made cookies are your favorite treat, wait for Christmas dinner to enjoy them and skip the store bought cookies at your work party.
4. Take it easy on the alcohol. Beer, wine & spirits are a staple for most holiday events. To avoid extra calories or a hangover, stick within the 1-3 drink range. Drink water between each beverage. Dry wine and lite beer have less sugar and tend to be less calories.
5. Get Some Sleep. The holidays are stressful enough without the added factor of staying up past your bedtime. Shut down the electronics 1 hours before bed. Logging extra quality Zzzz’s will not only keep your mental health in check and help your immune system as well.