Chocolate truffles! Apple pie! Smoked ham! Comfort food, sweets, and good company are holiday staples. For the health conscious however, holiday treats and rich meals can be more of an inconvenience than something to look forward to. Since no one should deprive themselves during the holidays, below are four tips to staying healthy – and happy – during the holidays.
Indulge in the most special holiday treats only
Keep your focus on fun, not food over the holidays. Think of choosing your sweets like you would budget your money – don’t overload on sweets that have little value, like store bought cookies or cakes. Instead, choose to indulge in something home-made and special, like grandma’s apple pie. If your calendar is marked for multiple holiday parties, choose a couple to indulge at, but try to eat healthy at the others. Holiday parties can add up quickly, and unfortunately so can the calories.
Suggest group exercise with friends and family
It’s hard to stay on track with your workout routine if you’re traveling or staying away from home – and your home gym. Even if you have access to a gym during the holiday season, it can be hard to have the motivation to work out. To stay on track, ask others to join you. After dinner, suggest a group walk around the block. If you’re away from home during the holidays, ask relatives what they do for fitness or ask to join them during a class or at their gym. If you’re flying solo in the fitness game, schedule your workouts ahead of time so you can plan the rest of your day and not feel pressured to skip a workout.
Schedule quality alone time
While you may only see your relatives a handful of times a year, family obligations shouldn’t consume your days during the holidays. Take some time alone to de-stress and schedule alone time to read a book, workout, shop, or sip some coffee and relax. You’ll be less irritable and have better quality conversations if you have a clear, calm mind. Give yourself a break from the commotion when it’s convenient.
Make and bring your own food
If your healthy options are limited, bring your own recipes! Ask relatives to join you in cooking your favorite health conscious appetizers and desserts. If you’re going to a party, consider bringing your own health-conscious dessert so you know you can count on at least one healthy choice at the party.
The holidays should be enjoyed by all, but you can still be happy and healthy. When it comes down to it, try not to stress about what you eat during the holidays. There’s always time to get back on track and back into a routine after the holiday season.