Happy Healthy Holidays

ibd-holiday-nutrition

The holidays are usually synonymous with an abundance of eating and a lack of exercise. I want to encourage you to start this New Year on the right foot. The holidays are a time for celebration and family, not to put on weight or focus on losing weight. Celebration doesn’t have to mean overeating, or deprivation for that matter. It’s time to bring the focus back to the purpose of the holiday. Enjoy your friends and family, the time off and the traditions of the holidays.

The holiday season might not be the best time to lose weight, but it doesn’t have to be a time to lose your health. The key is to go into the holidays with a plan. Here are some ways to keep your health over the holidays.

  • Exercise. Even taking 30 minutes out of your day to go on a quick walk will work wonders. Get family and friends involved and exercising will turn into some quality time with them! Take a walking tour of your neighborhood to look at holiday lights
  • Have a health snack before parties. Anytime I know I’m going to a party or out to eat with friends (especially somewhere I might be tempted to eat something super unhealthy) I have a healthy snack, green smoothie or fresh juice. It fills me up enough so I won’t be starving when I get there, yet still leaves me with the right amount of hunger to choose the healthy option. If you go to a dinner party on an empty stomach, it becomes inevitable that you will make unhealthy eating choices.
  • Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking. Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Making your own dish is great because who knows how much butter your Paula Deen of a relative put in that green bean casserole!
  • You don’t have to clean your plate! I know our moms have all taught us to do the opposite of this, but eat until you feel satisfied instead of stuffed! Feeling full, yucky, and tired is the last way you want feel during this time of the year!
  • Don’t be THAT person. Don’t be the one that gets too drunk at the party. Not only will you steer clear of being a viral video the next day, but you’ll also steer clear of late night eating. We all know alcohol lowers our inhibitions which can make us not care if we eat half a pepperoni pizza at 1 am. So stay classy with your alcohol consumption. Your ego and your waistline will thank you later.
  • Take the focus off food. Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, holiday decorations and making gifts for your family. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food.
  • Enjoy yourself!  It’s the holidays, so enjoy yourself! Don’t let food choices consume your thoughts when you should be enjoying time with family and friends. Be mindful of your choices instead of obsessive. Pick a few of your holiday favorites, and place a small amount of it on your plate! All you need is a taste to satiate your craving for those not so healthy options without feeling the guilt that comes along with it. I promise you it won’t be the last time you’ll get to eat your favorites. They’ll be there next year too!

 Happy HEALTHY holidays to you all!