The holidays are approaching quickly. As we begin to prepare, it is important that we find ways to eat healthy foods during this time. If we only eat sweet foods and yummy treats, we can easily gain weight, and find ourselves feeling sick.
To help you avoid the sugar-rush of the holidays, here are nine tips to keep you and your family healthy and full of the holiday spirit.
To keep your body active and strong, be sure to get some exercise in during the day. Exercise is one of the best ways to make sure that your body can handle all the food you eat during the holidays. Go for family walks, set aside some time in the morning to work out, or join a fitness class at your local YMCA. These are all easy ways to work off extra calories and promote overall healthy living.
2. Don’t Leave Your House Hungry
Don’t skip breakfast or wait to eat a meal until you go to a party later that day. You are always more likely to eat too much if you go to an event hungry. Enjoy a healthy breakfast and have a snack of fruits, nuts, or vegetables before you leave. This will keep you from getting hungry while you are away, and keep you from binge-eating unhealthy party treats.
3. Pick Food Carefully
If there is a lot of food to choose from, so only pick your favorite holiday foods. Instead of making mashed potatoes with butter and cheese, use low-fat options instead. Skip eating the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie, and choose white meat instead of the drum sticks. Try to add more fruits and vegetables to your holiday meals, and load up on those before eating the high-fat foods. These healthy options will fill you up and keep you from eating too much Thanksgiving pie and cookies.
4. Bring Your Own Food
If you suspect that there won’t be healthy options at some of the parties you’ll be going to, offer to bring some food to share. This allows you to help your host and ensures that you’ve got some healthy, wholesome options for your meal. This way, you can enjoy yummy, healthy food and help others have a healthy holiday as well.
5. Eat Slowly
When we eat food too quickly, it takes a bit for our brains to catch up with our mouths. We don’t always feel full as we eat, causing us to eat too much. Take time to enjoy every bite by slowly chewing your food. This way you won’t feel hungry at the end of your meal.
6. Watch Your Portions
It is easy to eat to find yourself grabbing fudge and cookies every time you pass by the dinner table. Start monitoring your portions. Take smaller amounts of high fat, high carb, or high sugar foods, and stick to your chosen portion sizes.
7. Write Your Meals Down
Keep track of how much and what kind of foods you eat by writing them down after every meal. If you eat too much in one meal, record that fact and choose eat a little less in the next meal. This is a simple trick that will give you a real-time perspective on the quantities you are eating, and help you avoid gaining weight over the holiday season.
8. Skip the Drinks
Alcoholic drinks can be fun and tasty to have with friends and family, but often they only make you want to eat more food. Not only this, but most alcoholic beverages are high in sugar and contribute to weight gain. Pass on the sugary cocktails, the beer, and the mixed drinks and choose a sparkling cider or a glass of water instead.
9. Take the Focus off of Holiday Meals
There are a number of fun activities that you can do during the holidays! You can build crafts, play games, take walks, and spend time outside with friends and family. Doing other things besides eating will keep you from eating too much and keep you body healthy. The next time your family gathers together, suggest that you all play some outdoor games, meet at a park, or have a bonfire. This will keep you all active, moving, and still enjoying all the bounty of the holidays, without the consequences.
Staying Healthy With Community Health Center of Snohomish County
At Community Health Center of Snohomish County (CHC), we are passionate about helping you and your family stay fit. Our doctors and health center staff are all available to guide you toward healthier living. Contact our team at (425)-789-3700 with any questions you have about how you and your family can become healthier this holiday season.