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Keeping off weight over holiday break
While the winter holidays seem to be everyone’s favorite time of the year, the biggest struggle that comes along with the great memories is trying to stay fit and healthy. January 1 always seems to come far too soon with the number one New Year’s resolution of getting back into shape and losing those 20 pounds you tacked on over the recent holidays. Let’s twist things up this year and keep those 20 pounds off over the next couple of months despite all the delicious egg nog, hot chocolate, and cheesecake Grandma throws our way!
One of the most important factors in staying fit and healthy is getting a regular full night’s sleep and keeping up with a routine. Make sleep a priority this season. Wake up early and conquer your to-do list. If you’re headed out of town for the holidays, get your packing done in advance so you’re not up until 2 a.m. trying to remember all those things you thought about that earlier in the day that you never made a list of like your mom told you to. If you’re flying out, put that in-flight pillow to good use with a cozy blanket and an eye mask! If you’re driving on the other hand, make sure you’ve had that nap before you hit the road! It’s recommended to have at least six hours of sleep before making a long trip in the car.
With as important as it is to sleep this season, it’s equally important to exercise! Staying active will boost both your energy and mood while traveling or just spending some time with family. One of the best excuses for not exercising is, “I just don’t have the time.” However, exercise does not always mean you have to go out and run three miles; just go for a 30 minute walk during the day and get some fresh air! No time during the day? Grab some friends or family and a coat and walk around the neighborhood to check out the Christmas lights! Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and enjoy it! Remember, exercising releases natural chemicals in your body that work together to make you happy; so enjoy the season!
The biggest struggle staying fit and healthy though the holiday season is probably the challenge of self-control when it comes to that delicious holiday feast with your family or maybe even resisting the urge to try that new recipe you found on Pinterest. It’s smart to plan your meals out in advance. When you’re getting ready to travel pack plenty of healthy snacks in your carry on for when you need something to take the edge off. Low-sugar energy bars, your favorite sandwich, or even a small bag of nuts are all great carry on snacks. Cut your portion size in half! I know, I know, easier said than done, but it’s better for you and your health to eat several small meals throughout the course of the day rather than just one huge meal! An important thing to remember at dinner is the 80/20 theory. When you’re piling your plate to the edge, load up with 80% fruits and vegetables and only 20% of everything else.
Lastly, we’re all guilty of it, but let’s all make it a goal to be aware of our eating habits this year. If you accidently overeat at dinner the night before don’t try and justify it by skipping breakfast and lunch the next day! It’s better to start the morning off with a healthy whole grain breakfast and go for a quick light walk.
Remember this holiday season; dieting and exercise aren’t always about how you look on the outside. It’s about feeling good on the inside and being fit and healthy. Make it a goal this season to not put on the extra 20 pounds and change that traditional “lose 20 pound” New Year’s resolution to getting that 4.0 in the spring!