The holiday season is upon us, and often times this time of year brings scenarios which seek to sabotage healthy habits. There are ways to avoid the common pitfalls and make it a joyous season while keeping on track.
Celebrations for these holidays typically center around food and the busyness of the season can leave little time for exercise. Some strategies for trimming down the traditional Hanukkah meal include considering substituting sweet potatoes for white potatoes when making latkes and pairing traditional sides with a healthier main dish, such as baked chicken.
Many Christmas parties include a large spread of sweets. Trying to stay on track doesn’t mean you can’t have any of these treats, just plan ahead for them. If it’s an evening party, eat a light lunch. Decide before the party how many cookies you’re going to eat, and stick to that number. Don’t go to the event hungry; grab a healthy snack before heading out. Planning ahead is the key to success.
While you might feel like you don’t have time to stick to your normal fitness routine during the busy holiday season, make sure you’re working fitness in and not abandoning it completely. Again, the key is planning. Look at your schedule, and if you typically head to the gym after work, but you have holiday parties or shopping trips planned in the evenings, wake up early to get in a workout or do it over your lunch break. Try to mix it up and add new activities to your routine—if you can’t make it to your gym, go for a run through your neighborhood or do an at-home workout (Pinterest is full of ones that don’t require any equipment!)
Most people think that New Year’s is a great time for healthy decisions, but it can actually work against you. Many will make resolutions that they’re going to lose weight or get healthy during the New Year. However, simply making broad statements can end up bringing discouragement. Instead of a typical resolution, make a plan using SMART objectives: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Instead of making a resolution that you’re going to lose weight and exercise this year, set an objective that you are going to lose 5 pounds in 3 months and jog for 30 minutes 5 days per week. Evaluate your objectives through the year, and reset them based on your current needs and situation.
It bears repeating that planning is the most important key to a healthy holiday season Happy, Healthy Holidays!