Now time for Part III, the final installment, of my posts for Keeping it Healthy for the Holidays. In this post I will provide some tips to prevent the typical holiday weight gain.
- This is not the time to “diet,” in fact you never should “diet,” because that assumes you are only doing a short-term change to your eating habits. We all know that the Holidays are notorious for having many dishes that aren’t considered healthy, but instead of dieting to manage your calorie intake, you should balance it with exercise or activity.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Those 30 minutes should get your heart rate up to at least 60% of your maximum target heart rate which is 220 minus your age.
- When shopping, use the stair rather than the escalators to help burn calories that normally wouldn’t. (And for you Mitch Hedberg fans, if the escalator is broken down, it’s temporarily stairs, sorry for the convenience.)
- This should be followed all the time: When looking for a parking space, don’t continue to circle around looking for a closer spot, park away from the entrance and walk.
- Plan holiday activities that are physical such as walking through the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights, caroling, or visiting neighbors.
- Decorating the house burns calories too, so be sure to decorate both inside and out.
- Once Christmas is over, and you begin to think of New Year’s Resolutions, make sure they are something you can accomplish, not a far-fetched idea that is harder to attain because you will become discouraged and quit more easily.
- Don’t vow to “give up” certain foods, make it to eat “healthier” choices: 1% or Skim milk instead of whole, adding a serving of fruits and vegetables to your meal plan every day, eat a “meatless” meal once a week…
- Finally, don’t deprive yourself completely of holiday foods you enjoy. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty while trying to enjoy the holiday season. Moderation is key to feeling happy and healthy!