With the holidays among us, many people worry about weight gain and depression during this season with a lot of cold and only a little daylight. The menu we often see at social gatherings during the holidays doesn’t stave off the cold, weight gain, depression or the long hours of darkness.
photo credit – Ruth Black on canva.com
5 ways to avoid the holiday sugar binge and bulge
1. Increase filtered water consumption
If you’re already getting half your weight in ounces per day of filtered water, you’ve made a great head start. Water helps to clear out toxins and when we’re in the habit of picking up our cool water bottle or mason jar for a refreshing sip, we’re less apt to pick up that can of soda or cup of fruit punch at the office party.
For some it helps to drink a large glass of water before each meal-whether that be a spread at work or the typical heavy sit down family celebratory meal. You will eat less as the water has given you a sense of fullness.
2. Eat before you go
The calendar can quickly fill with extra social outings over the holidays. Your book club does a Secret Santa party, the office holds an after party, your neighborhood hosts a Santa visit, and your family has it’s typical tradition. Not to mention everywhere you go the bank tellers, postal workers and hardware store cashiers are all handing out chocolate and candy canes.
An easy tip would be to eat before you head out to these social events (and kindly pass on the chocolate and candy canes from the cashier). It need not be an entire meal you eat, though perhaps a piece of meat wrapped around a cheese stick with some bell pepper strips. If you get some protein, fiber from those veggies and healthy fat from the cheese, you will feel satiated and will be less apt to act on the cravings which lead you (inevitably) to the sugar laden heavy food versus the veggie tray.
3. Choose wisely
When at these social events or family functions, there is food set out before the meal, right? Hors d ouevres that call your name-yes, YOUR name, chocolate with a subtle hint of sea salt and caramel are winking at you from across the table. Then the meal comes with its marshmallow laden sweet potatoes and gluten infused stuffing.
Don’t get me wrong, this stuff tastes good (except the marshmallows, I’ve never been able to figure that one out), but it doesn’t leave us feeling good. And I’m clear we want to feel good. We want the energy to toss the football in the yard after the midday meal, we like to sit comfortably without letting out our belts or unbuttoning to make more room.
This means we need to choose wisely. Even allowing yourself one treat per day (of the many social events you will have during the season) will quickly add the pounds and the feeling of dis-ease.
Be mindful in your choices. Fill up on veggies, allow some cheese with a few crackers, avoid the sugary beverages and instead go for a mug of cider or hot tea.
4. Give the gift of health
What does this have to do with the holiday binge and bulge you might ask? Have you ever given a gift of food only to have the hostess insist on sending half of it home with you?
Yes, my friend, you will give the gift of health to your hostesses such as a bag of clementines, a bowl of fresh fruit or a jug of cider and mulling spices. This way, when their cup has runneth over and they start doling out all of the food into the hands of guests as they depart for the day, you are more likely to receive back a little of what you brought, which is the gift of health.
5. Make exercise a priority
This one here is important because you want to naturally raise those endorphin levels to keep you feeling a sense of joy throughout the season.
It is important to exercise for health, however, including a brisk walk in the crisp outside air (especially on the days when you’ll be attending a social function where you may imbibe in food and drink) will boost your immune system, make you smile, give a natural flush to your cheeks and boost your metabolism.
Feeling bloated, breaking out from sugar and enduring restless sleep will not keep us healthy and energized during the holiday season. You have it in you to avoid the holiday binge and bulge using these quick tips.
What are your favorite ways to stay healthy during the holidays?