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Health tips for the Holiday Season

Health tips for the Holiday Season

The Holiday season is upon us.  It’s hard to believe but Friday is the 1st of November. This is the time of year where the office treats are here in full force, the weather is colder and the days are shorter; it’s easy for us to get in hibernation mode and let our health goals take the back seat.

Typically this time of the year we begin the excuse of “it’s the holidays” and “I’ll get back on track January 1st.” Now is the time to get focused and create a plan to get through the holidays before you get trapped in the never ending treats and the lazy exercise habits. Here are a couple tips to maintain your weight or perhaps even lose during the holiday season:

Keep a food journal and be honest

By writing down everything we are eating there is a certain level of accountability that comes into the play. There is less of a chance we will mindlessly snack if we have something/someone to report back to. Share your food journal with a friend/family member or keep it for yourself. Either way you will second guess yourself before grabbing that cookie at the office or that extra serving of mashed potatoes at dinner. By starting a journal now you will have a good 3 -4 weeks to make this a habit before the real holiday temptation kicks in.

Limit yourself on Holiday treats

Everything is fine in moderation, but the idea of “moderation” tends to shift during the holidays. All of a sudden one brownie goes from being our “moderation” to being the norm. Get in the right mindset now. How many treats will you allow yourself each week. If you over indulge, log an extra 30 minutes at the gym or adjust for the reminder of your week. When we get off track, its easy to just give up all together and let ourselves go,  

Make an exercise plan and stick to it

Right now is the perfect time to start and exercise regimen, again it give us that 3 -4 weeks to get into a routine before the brunt of the holiday season kicks in. When you make exercise a habit or a scheduled part of your day it’s harder to blow off the gym for a happy hour or a lazy night on the couch. Whether you are a morning, lunch time or evening exerciser it’s important to schedule it into your day. Make an appointment with yourself and put it in your calendar. You’re less likely to blow it off if it’s a pre planned part of your week.  

Watch the alcohol consumption

With the holidays come the holiday drinks, its typical for people to over indulge in wine, beer and liquor during this time of the year. Like anything, alcohol is fine in moderation, but keep in mind that alcohol is empty calories and it spikes your blood sugar.  It also lowers your inhibitions and you tend to over indulge on food and desserts. Be mindful when it comes to your alcohol consumption. Ask yourself if the drink is worth it, sometimes it may sometimes it may not but make it a decision instead of second nature.  

Shave calories with simple swaps

There are many ways to reduce the calories without sacrificing the taste in some of our favorite dishes. Use chicken stock, fat-free yogurt, light cream cheese, and low-fat milk in place of high-fat ingredients. Substitute non-fat yogurt or applesauce for oil in baked goods. Use Truvia or Splenda instead of sugar. All of these small substitutes can make a big difference in your overall calorie consumption.

Jamie Spoto, Personal Trainer

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