The holidays are upon us once again. And this “magical” time of year is back where copious amounts of pie and cocktail dresses coexist. Coming out of a pandemic, it’s natural to feel a little anxious about your eating habits and fitness goals. If you’re looking for a little support while every ounce of your will power is tested (two words: shortbread cookies), we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to navigating the calorie-rich world of holiday parties while keeping your waistline intact.
7 Tips for Enjoying a Healthy Holiday Season:
1. WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND
Baby it’s cold outside, and with frigid temperatures comes the overwhelming desire to cocoon. But before you reach for that cozy quilt, check in with your inner child. Remember snowball fights, skating, and sleds? Remember staying out until dark building forts, snowmen, and snow angels? Get back into the fun side of winter. It’ll keep you active in between sugar-filled festivities and it might just make you smile.
2. FORGET ABOUT GOING COLD TURKEY
It’s the holidays and you should be able to let your hair down a little. Don’t set yourself on a path of total deprivation – it simply won’t work. At some point you will crumble and binge on whatever you’ve been craving. Don’t give yourself time to obsess. Just eat the damn cookie and move on.
3. SET A FITNESS GOAL FOR THE 31ST
Most people make their resolutions after the bubbly’s been popped, but not you. No, this year you’re going to earn that bubbly by completing a feat of awesomeness before the clock even strikes 12. Your goal can be as grand as running your first 10km or as small as perfecting your push up form. Regardless of what you choose, this healthy holiday goal will keep you active and give you a little me time in the midst of all your planning and holiday shopping.
4. KNOW THY ENEMY
Think of a few of your favourite holiday goodies and Google their nutritional value. Once you see an approximation of the calorie count in your Aunt June’s peanut butter balls, you may think twice before going back for seconds… or eights. It may be painful, but knowledge is power when it comes to a healthy holiday.
5. START AN ACTIVE FAMILY TRADITION
There is no shortage of holiday fun runs at this time of year, so why not sign up the family. You can select a distance that’s manageable, and you and family members can run together in garish holiday garb jingling all the way. It’s amazing how much fun running 5km in a Santa beard can be.
→ Looking for more ways to beat the stress and stay happy and healthy this season? Check out our article on 7 Mood-Boosting Foods here!
6. STEP AWAY FROM THE BAR
We get it! Eggnog and rum is delicious, like it-should-be-illegal delicious. But it really packs on the pounds. The same goes for most cocktails and, sadly, wine. Now, we’re not trying to ruin your fun, but by limiting yourself to one or two drinks that you really want, you could save yourself a whole lot of calories and a few unfortunate comments to your kid brother you see twice a year. Choose bubbly water instead. It’s more festive than regular ol’ water and if you really use your imagination you can pretend it’s alcoholic. Take this route and you can kiss that hangover goodbye.
7. BARTER WITH YOURSELF
Your friend is reestablishing her annual holiday party in a Covid-safe way. You look forward to these parties because your friend might as well be a professional chef. What do you do? A scenario like this calls for a tradeoff. You know, you’re going to want to eat everything in sight when you make it to this party and you should let yourself, but not without paying a price. In the days leading up to a coveted party, increase your activity and focus on limiting your caloric intake.