Healthy Holiday Eating
This month our focus is on healthy eating. I heard that chuckle.
December is a month full of parties and eating and celebrations and eating and shopping and eating. In fact, it’s a month we typically eat like there’s no tomorrow. Or maybe that’s just my family.
While I’m not proposing you turn down all dinner invitations, I do want to provide you with some strategies for enjoying this month’s celebrations without sabotaging your health.
Each week this month I’ll be sharing three strategies to help you eat a little more healthily during the holidays. Here are the first three.
- Set realistic goals. I think one of the most important strategies is to recognize the fact that you are going to splurge some during the holidays. There are some dishes and treats that are only available this time of year and it’s perfectly okay to enjoy them . . . in moderation. So while you may be on a weight-loss program and losing weight each week going into the holidays, you may want to reduce your weight loss goals for the weeks when you know you’ll be attending special celebrations. Maybe reduce the number of pounds you want to lose that week or possibly just plan on maintaining your weight during the weeks you have to attend the most celebrations. Be realistic and don’t set yourself up for failure.
- Keep a journal. This is one of the best tools for managing your weight and your health. Keep track of what you eat, how much, and when, what kind of exercise you do, how much, and when . . . and also how well and how long you sleep and how you feel the next day. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll learn about how food and exercise affects you . . . physically, mentally, and emotionally. Journaling is especially helpful during the holidays when you know you have to go home from a party and write down exactly how many pieces of Aunt Jenny’s fudge you ate! It doesn’t have to be a fancy journal, just some paper and a pen will do. And it only takes a few minutes each day. But the payoff can be huge.
- Add more exercise. Since you know you’ll probably be eating more during this month, why not add a little more exercise to your schedule. Walk an extra lap. Run another mile. Add a few more reps or a little more weight at the gym. Or maybe park further away from the mall every visit and add a family hike in the woods each weekend. The exercise will help make up for some of the extra food you’re eating, and it will help alleviate the stress we all experience during this month. And who knows, you may find out you enjoy the extra laps and your family may decide to add that hike to their agenda every weekend in the New Year.
Check back next week for three more strategies to help you end this year on a healthy note. And be sure to schedule your chiropractic adjustments during the holidays so you’ll feel your best!