The holiday season is full of guilty pleasures.  However over indulgence can ruin your holidays by making you susceptible to disease, causing or exacerbating health issues and damaging your mental health.  For many it’s far from the most wonderful time of the year.  Here are some tips on how you can be healthier and happier this holiday season! 

  1. Exercise regularly.  Regular exercise will keep your metabolism going and also has been proven to lower your appetite. 
  2. Don’t use food or drink as motivation for exercise.  Getting a workout in so you can eat or drink more is one of the worst things you can do.  Exercise should be part of your normal routine and not used as a reason to overindulge.
  3. Keep regular eating habits. Skipping a meal so you eat and drink more a holiday event will only lead to overindulging.  Keep your regular eating habits and consider having a filling snack before your event.  Focus on foods high in protein, or healthy fats or carbohydrates such as fruit, protein shakes or a small handful of nuts that will help curb your appetite and prevent overeating.
  4. Make a Rainbow. When making a plate, focus on adding items of various colors which will help ensure you include healthy, nutritious food items.
  5. Eat until you 80% full. This concept was originally developed in Japan and is an easy way to reduce calories and avoid that gross feeling of being overstuffed.
  6. Choose drinks wisely. Avoid drinks high in sugar and they are often higher in calories than the alcohol.  Focus on low calorie mixers (get seltzer not tonic), use fruit for flavor and if you feel the need for flavor ask for a “splash”. A way to ensure moderation is always have a glass of water between drinks.
  7. Take a walk after dinner. Studies show that talking a walk after meals can significantly lower blood sugar levels, help with digestion and even elevate your mood.