The holidays are a time of joy, celebration, and spending time with your family and loved ones. And what is a holiday without a large family dinner? The amazing smells of the dining table, seeing your loved ones happy, and the cold weather are known to increase our appetite during the holidays.
These mesmerizingly happy times can make us forget that although it’s winter, in six months when it’s the time to go on a summer vacation, we’ll be regretting how much weight we’ve gained during the winter. To avoid this, here are some health hacks to stay fit for the holidays.
Fill your recipes with healthy options
Always remember that green vegetables are your best friend when you’re trying to lower calories in a dish. Replace the high-calorie elements of your recipes with vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
At first, it may be hard to make your kids eat a healthier version of your Christmas dishes, but there are some vegetables that kids actually like. Choose any veg for kids, and try to add it into your holiday recipes. If that doesn’t work, the only solution that always works is to blend the vegetables and use them to make a healthy and delicious gravy.
When you are cooking a healthier version of your Christmas dishes be careful not to overuse starchy vegetables. Many vegetables are full of starch, which is a complex carbohydrate, and they break down faster making you crave more carbs shortly after eating them. You can easily get stuck in this carb loop if you are not careful.
Practice Mindful Eating
We all know how inviting holiday food smells when the scent of freshly baked bread rolls, juicy stuffed turkey, and roasted or mashed potatoes with extra gravy blends to perfection. Who could ever resist? No one! Nor should you. Mindful eating is a way of eating where you put your full attention on the food on your plate. This way you’ll find yourself eating more slowly and attentively.
Mindful eating further leads to tricking your brain into thinking that you have eaten more than you did and you will feel full quicker. This way of eating can help you taste everything on the dinner table without making you feel bloated afterward. Don’t make the mistake of eating if you know you’ll be attending a family gathering with a lot of delicious food. This way you’ll appreciate the food more when the celebration starts.
Lower your alcohol intake
We all know how it is; a family gathering for the holidays, the kids play after dinner and, the grownups stay on the dining table drinking, talking, and having fun. But do we know how many calories we consume by drinking one glass of beer?
Usually, over the holidays, we drink alcohol with our Christmas dinner, and often after dinner too. Alcohol is full of sugars and can lead to abrupt weight gain. If you’re not careful you can consume more calories by drinking alcohol than by having dinner.
One glass of beer has 110 calories and, one glass of red wine has around 210 calories. That means that you can have a glass or two if you want to, but try not to go above two as by the time you have drunk your fourth glass of red wine you would have consumed 840 calories. So be careful.
Whatever exercising means for you. It may be a 2-hour walk, a 30-minute jog, 40 minutes spent in the gym, or anything similar. Working out should not only be seen as a way to lose the calories you have eaten but as a form of keeping your heart and body healthy too.
Even if you get off the couch to do light activities for an hour, like cleaning your kitchen or living room, it will make a huge difference. So after your big family Christmas celebration, don’t just sit around – get up and get moving.
Working out shouldn’t be done only for the holidays though, you should always make sure to exercise or do light activities every day. This way, besides keeping your body healthy, you will notice how exercising will tone your body and keep you ready for the summer ahead.
Keeping our bodies healthy needs to be our number one priority, so try not to indulge in overeating this holiday season. Try to eat more healthily, eat mindfully, lower your alcohol intake, and exercise.
If you have problems with food and you always either eat less or more than you should, try to enjoy some delicious and healthy meals guilt-free, and always be mindful of your choices and move your body around to keep it healthy.