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10 Tips to Stay Healthy and Stress Less this Holiday Season

  1. Reject the all or nothing mentality: “I’ve already blown it, so I may as well go ahead and eat and start over after the holidays”.  If you have eaten more than you planned, or ate something you did not plan on eating. Enjoy it, and move on. Get back to your schedule immediately. Don’t wait another day. Do it now!
  2. Get a workout in! No matter how frenzied your life is, you can always find at least 20 minutes for fitness. Try dividing up your fitness regimen. Fifteen minutes in the morning, and fifteen minutes in the evening…whatever it takes to fit it in. This not only burns off those extra calories, but as a bonus it also relieves some of your holiday stress. Lower stress usually means less eating.
  3. Plan activities or games at family gatherings. Volunteer to lead the games and activities. This will allow you to get out of the kitchen.
  4. Respect your fullness. Especially on the holidays, listen to your body’s internal cues that let you know you’re full. Pause midway through your meal and check in with yourself – what is your current fullness level?
  5. The holidays are without a doubt, the most stressful time of year. Do something each day for self-care. Taking 5-10 minutes daily to go for a walk, write in a journal, or practice meditation can do wonders to relieve holiday associated stress and anxiety.
  6. Bring a healthy dish to share with family and friends! To ensure there is at least one healthy option at your holiday gathering, take matters into your own hands and bring a healthy dish to share. Someone will thank you for it!
  7. Make protein your best friend. From stuffing to sweet potato casserole to pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes – carbohydrate rich foods are typically in excess at holiday meals. Including at least 1-2 servings of protein rich foods with your meal can help to balance your blood sugar and increase satiety.
  8. Get moving after a big meal! Going for a short walk after your holiday meal can help to improve digestion and improve blood sugar control.
  9. Be sure to eat a balanced meal prior to the big meal. Instead of “saving up” for the main meal, which is more likely to result in overeating later in the day, eat a healthy, protein-rich meal with lots of fresh vegetables.
  10. Learn to say no. Many times we simply eat foods because people keep putting more in front of us. Learn to say no politely and be comfortable with your decision.