Celebrate this joyous time by following these healthy holiday tips! Take time to eat well and move your body to help you feel your best. From our friends at Nutrition.gov and Heart.org, this guide offers great tips and recipes to help you celebrate the season without putting your healthy habits on hold.
HEALTHY HOLIDAY TIPS
1. Go for a run or take a walk.
Take a walk or go for a run after one of the many meals you’ll be eating. Enjoy the fresh air and walk off the meal you just ate.
2. Play outside.
Weather permitting, play a game of touch football, just maybe not as rough as the game played in Wedding Crashers.
3. Choose active indoor games.
If board games are a tradition, be active while you play or even try a game of charades, which always gets people active and engaged.
4. Enjoy the snow.
If there is snow outside, go play in it! Take advantage of having friends and family around to help build a snowman or better yet, have a kid-friendly snowball fight.
5. Turn off the TV.
Instead of always heading to the couch to watch tv, try to motivate everyone to do one of these active ideas.
6. Keep up healthy habits.
Commit to sticking to your own healthy habits. If you don’t follow them completely, don’t beat yourself up. The holidays are about enjoying time with friends and family, so enjoy your time with them.
7. Get plenty of sleep.
Try to aim for at least 7–9 hours of sleep each night to stay in the healthy zone. Don’t let your wake-up time and bedtime get too far off your regular schedule. Nap when needed and ditch the digital devices at night, remember to enjoy the holidays and not worry about work.
HEALTHY HOLIDAY EATING TIPS
Don’t forget to try these healthy holiday eating tips:
- Compare nutrition information on package labels.
- Watch your calorie intake.
- Eat reasonable portions.
- Eat a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables.
Focus including and limiting the following foods:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Fish, skinless poultry, and plant-based alternatives
- Fat-free and low-fat dairy products
- Healthier fats and non-tropical oils
- Sodium and salty or highly processed foods
- Saturated fat
- Sweets and added sugars, including sugar-sweetened beverages
- Fatty or processed meats — if you choose to eat red meat, select the leanest cuts
- Trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils and excessive calories
MAKE TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY RECIPES HEALTHIER
Make smart substitutions and small changes with your holiday recipes to make them healthier.
Heart.org offers these ideas:
- Instead of butter, use a healthier vegetable oil or substitute equal parts unsweetened applesauce when baking.
- Use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
- Use low-fat or nonfat milk instead of whole milk or heavy cream.
- Instead of only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.
- Instead of adding chocolate chips or candies, use dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries.
- Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter.
- Use vegetable oils or soft margarine instead of butter.
- Use whole-grain breads, rice and pasta instead of white.
- Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.
- Compare labels of your holiday ingredients, and choose products with lower amounts of sodium and added sugars.
- Use spices, fresh herbs and citrus juice to flavor foods and drinks instead of excess salt and added sugars.
If you’re looking for more support with your healthy habits, contact us at the Wellness Center of Plymouth, where we partner with you to achieve balanced nutrition and healthy weight, which are cornerstones of living a life of wellness. You’re not alone; we walk with you every step of the way.