Winter is formally upon us, meaning that Christmas is just around the corner - a time of year where banquets, dinners and get togethers are almost weekly events. Sweets and junk food are a norm at every snack table; and in light of this it is very easy to be forgetful about your health. Next thing we know, January brings the sun back out and we soon realize the beach body we once had is no longer! To avoid having to make yet another fitness-related New Year’s resolution, it is important to keep in mind not only what we are eating, but how much.
The first and most important tip to keep in mind this Christmas season is moderation; a concept that most people often forget when faced with difficult decisions such as what (and how much) to eat. Having a slice of Yule log cake or drinking a glass of wine with dinner are not inherently bad things to do. Rather, the negative side-effects come into play when you consume too much. So, rather than saying “no” to all Christmas treats this year, indulge yourself on the ones that matter; like grandma’s traditional gingerbread that she makes every year. Moderation is key, and small portions of Christmas desserts every now and then will benefit you in the long run by avoiding the possibility of impulsive overeating.
In light of trying to eat right during the holiday months, we tend to jump to extreme means of ensuring we curb our junk food intake; not knowing that some of the easiest and most versatile tricks lay right under our nose. Christmas time is brimming with activities to partake in with our coworkers, dearest friends, or loved ones, so why not just shift your focus to things you can do, rather than the food? Go caroling, cut down your own tree this year, volunteer at a charity drive or go the extra mile with Christmas decorations. There are endless possibilities that allow you to shift your attention away from the gingersnap and towards the fellowship of friends and family - you need only look a little harder. Having some healthy frozen meals stocked up in your fridge is also a good idea. The holidays are a busy time for everyone regardless of whether you’re intentionally seeking out healthy alternatives or not; and we all eventually get caught in the “convenience” trap. Avoid compromising your diet goals this season and prepare some frozen dinners in advance. You’ll thank yourself in the long run when all you need to do is preheat the oven!
Ensuring your health throughout the winter months shouldn’t be a process that only starts on the first of December. Research shows that adults gain approximately one pound during the winter, and will likely not shed that weight the following year. Add next Christmas and even the next one after that, and this weight gain adds up. Fortunately enough, research also shows that engaging in continuous physical activity before, during and after the holidays lessens the amount of weight gained, and even documented weight loss in some cases. Try hitting the gym on those wet, cold evenings when there’s nothing better to do! Simultaneously, this will help reduce your caloric intake by keeping you busy!
At the end of the day, however, the holidays are also a time of rest and enjoyment - a time to recuperate and get together with loved ones and friends. Be sure to get enough rest and make the most out of this Christmas season! As always, consult your health physician before making any big changes to your diet or lifestyle. Give us a call for your winter tune-up; and take a peek at our website for our upcoming closures! Happy Holidays to all!