The holiday season can be overly joyful! It can also be full of travel, holiday parties, end of the year deadlines, and packed schedules. Healthy eating and regular physical activity may go out the window during this time of year. The holiday weight gain becomes a norm for many individuals.
What if the holiday season can be overly joyful AND lighter on the waistline without strict dieting and exercising rules? I think it can. And I am here to share with you seven easy tips to balance out those holiday treats so that your waistline doesn’t move an inch this holiday season. We’ll call these tips the “Santa Seven” to keep you in the joyful holiday spirit!
The Santa Seven: Tips for Balancing Holiday Treats
- Santa likes cookies on Christmas Eve. What do you like? A gingerbread cookie or two at your annual holiday party? Or eggnog every Saturday in December? Get to know your taste buds and set a holiday treat plan for yourself. Pick a treat or two that you want to savor this season. As for the rest of those treats sitting on your holiday platter begging for you to take a bite? Give them away. Tasty treats can make great gifts!
- Santa takes a sleigh everywhere. You don’t have that luxury, but you do have two feet that work extremely well. Walk them! Even when you don’t have time to do your typical morning workout routine, moving more throughout the day has its mind and body benefits. Shop ‘til you drop, take in some sights if you are traveling, or rake those leaves with a loved one. Aim for 10,000 steps if you have a wearable device or Smartphone app that tracks steps.
- Santa likes time with Mrs. Clause and the elves. Spend time with loved ones and do something meaningful that does not involve excessive food, beverages, or sitting. Go ice skating as a family, see Christmas lights on foot, or visit a local nursing home and sing Christmas carols or pass out warm blankets.
- Santa travels from the North Pole to kids everywhere. Traveling can be stressful and stress can reduce your immune system. You don’t want your immune system compromised when you are at an airport with thousands of others. So, take time to reduce any traveling stress by getting to the airport a little early, downloading good music onto your Ipod, and taking five deep breaths anytime you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Santa wears red. It is his signature color and he feels mighty confident in it. What color do you feel confident in? Wear more clothes that make you feel absolutely great. Confidence in yourself can keep you feeling positive and wanting to take care of that beautiful body of yours.
- Santa is always jolly when he talks (ho ho ho!). He is extremely happy this time of year so he must be making time for himself. We should do the same! Check in with your needs regularly over the holiday season. Do you need a nap? A bubble bath? Someone to talk to? Check in and take time for yourself! When you take care of your emotional needs, you may find yourself reaching for those extra cookies less.
- Santa is a giver. It is easy to over consume in many ways over the holidays whether it be food or goods. According to Feeding America, 49 million Americans lived in food-insecure households in 2012, including nearly 16 million children. Those statistics are alarming! Volunteer some time through your local soup kitchen, Meals on Wheels, etc. or donate money to a hunger charity. Let’s keep more focus on reducing hunger and less on over consumption this holiday season!
Happy and healthy holidays to you and yours!