Photo by Shayla Girardin
The holidays are quickly approaching and for most of us this means a host of holiday treats and goodies. After months of hitting the books and finishing off your finals the holidays can be a much needed time of rest and rejuvenation. We deserve it! But the change of schedule, lazy days and holiday treats aren’t always conducive to healthy living. So how can you enjoy the holiday season without returning to school with the “turkey trot”?
Stay active! Take a hike, go on a walk or hit the gym — whatever you do, stay active over the holidays. If you have access to a gym, even 15 minutes on the elliptical is a great way to get your heart rate up. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and enjoy the outdoors! Even the little things make a huge difference. If your location accommodates, consider winter sports like snowboarding or skiing. If the weather is not suitable outdoors, find ways to stay active inside. YouTube videos make for great indoor workout material. Staying active will help burn those extra calories we tend to consume during the holidays.
If it’s not a treat, don’t cheat! Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean we’re entitled to every candy cane or cinnamon roll that comes our way. Try to save your splurges for your absolute favorite treats. If you know Grandma’s apple pie is on the menu that evening, try to eat well-balanced and healthy meals during the day, so you can indulge guilt-free that evening.
Keep calories in mind. There can be a temptation to “let go” when you’re home for the holidays. Having all your favorite foods and homemade treats at your disposal can be tempting, but keeping in mind what you’re putting in your mouth is a healthy practice. As mentioned earlier, try to stay away from empty calories, especially things like holiday beverages or candies that are high in calories and sugar with little nutritional value.
Eat! If you’re prepping for a big meal that evening, don’t make the mistake of not eating all day. Instead, eat small, healthy meals periodically. This will speed up your metabolism and you won’t be starving by dinnertime. If you still feel you’ve splurged too much, be sure to hop back on the bandwagon the next day. Whatever you do, never skip meals to make up for it. This will only slow down your metabolism and make you even more hungry.
Treat yourself! At the end of the day, it’s the holiday season and you deserve a treat! Know when to treat yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. If you feel like you’ve overindulged, tomorrow’s a new day. If you carve aside a “cheat meal” for yourself, you may find eating clean is a lot easier when you have something to look forward to.
Follow Shayla Girardin on Twitter: @Shaylagthatsme