Cookies. Pie. Ham. Eggnog. Champagne. The bottle of spiced rum that Uncle Jerry unearthed from the deepest recesses of his liquor cabinet. Christmastime is a ceaseless onslaught of earthly delights that no one possesses the fortitude to resist entirely.
In other words, we eat and drink a lot of treats around the holidays. This is less than ideal because treats do unwanted things to our waistlines, but what are you supposed to do – not enjoy treats? Perish the thought!
Fortunately, having your ham doesn’t mean you can’t also stay on track with your fitness and nutrition goals during the holidays. Here are a few tips you can follow to mitigate the damage!
Plan Out Your Meals
Have you got a few special events planned during the holiday season? That’s great because it means you already know which days you’ll be around unhealthier foods. If you’re attending dinner at grandma’s house, where the average dish contains enough calories to sustain a whole team of sled dogs during an entire Antarctic expedition, you can plan lighter, lower-calorie meals during the day leading up to it.
But don’t skip meals before attending a feast! People make poorer decisions while they are hungry, which means skipping meals will make you more inclined to eat a gingerbread village instead of the door of a single gingerbread house. In fact, it is wise to eat something before attending a treat-filled event, as that will help you exercise greater self-control around the stuffed mushrooms.
Drink Plenty of Water
Go figure: The one substance that you cannot live without is also really good for you! Water isn’t just devoid of calories. Drinking it in ample quantities can also help you burn calories, as well as suppress the appetite that can get you into trouble whenever coconut rum balls are present. Shoot for half your body weight, in ounces, of pure water a day, in addition to whichever zero-calorie drinks you also enjoy.
And if you are enjoying alcohol – a potion that is not alien to the concept of festivity – try to drink at least 16 ounces of water for every shot, beer, or glass of wine you consume. And remember not to overdo it! Even Alexander the Great wasn’t so great that wine couldn’t hurt him.
Pile on the Veggies
Exercise a strategy as you approach the hallowed Christmas dinner buffet this year. Instead of solely stacking meat and butter-soaked things, try and let veggies and fruit cover at least half of your plate. Carrot cake, unfortunately, doesn’t count.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
You may already be diligent about getting your hour in at the gym every day. But if you have family visiting from out of town, you may feel guilty leaving them sitting on the couch while you leave to do overhead presses at the fitness center.
Should you cut exercise out of the equation while you’re entertaining guests? Not at all! Instead propose vigorous holiday activities: ice skating (504 calories burned per hour), hiking, running trails, or short walks around the neighborhood (324 calories per hour) so you can observe all the festive lighting displays.
If you happen to live in Georgia, where Calhoun Spine & Wellness is also located, then you are blessed for not having to incorporate snow into your outdoor recreation. It may not exactly be tropical during December, but at least you don’t need special shoes to walk outdoors!
Get a Head Start on Your New Year’s Resolution
Less than 10% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually stick to all of them. But the majority of people who make resolutions do keep at least some of them. And since most New Year’s resolutions revolve around leading healthier lives, that means they’re beneficial overall.
If you’re resolving to lose weight or exercise more next year, why not get a head start during the holiday season? You’ll certainly have plenty of opportunities to practice abstaining from cookies during the time of year when they are most ubiquitous!
Remember Why You’re Trying to Stay Healthy
The holiday season is the best time to count your blessings. As you’re surrounded by friends and family, remember that you’d like to stay healthy so you can continue to be in those beautiful people’s lives for as long as you are able.
Would you like a little extra help sticking to your fitness and nutrition goals as this year’s holiday season rolls around? Then we welcome you to reach out to Calhoun Spine & Wellness’s very own registered dietician today! They can help you remain accountable to your goals, as well as give you more in-depth wellness advice than a sassy blog post could ever offer.