By Joy Pape, FNP-C CDE CILC
Do you want to be healthy and enjoy the holidays? Of course! What we all need are strategies to help us do so. Here are some of my favorite holiday tips.
Make up your mind. It’s easy to tell people to make up their minds to not overeat, or to get active. However, I’ve learned that people don’t change without a reason. What’s your reason? Maybe it’s because you know your health is at risk, or you just don’t want to put on extra holiday pounds.
Focus on what you can have. Rather than thinking about what you can’t have, focus on what you can have. There is a lot you can have.
Plan and prepare. Once you have identified your reason, plan how you will respond to all of the temptations. This does not have to be backbreaking. Just take some time to think about it before you get swept up in the flurry of events.
Prepare by giving the holidays some thought. What do the holidays mean to you? Are they about food, gifts, or people?
Food: Enjoy all kinds of foods. Just keep them in balance. See my notes below.
Gifts: What kind of gifts do you give others? Do you give gifts you know are not healthy? Rather than the habitual cookies, be creative and give something that promotes health. Choose from cheeses, veggies, and/or nuts, hand weights to promote strength, a pair of comfy shoes or clothes, or music that encourages activity.
People: Think about whom you want to spend time with. Think about someone who may be alone and would appreciate a meal, a visit, or even a call.
Plan to do the following for shopping/holiday gatherings:
Bring healthy appetizers, side dishes, or desserts. You are most likely not the only one looking for tasty healthy options.
Eat before. Don’t go all day without eating, so that when you shop or are at your celebration, you don’t eat the “house.” You may want to eat a bit less at your earlier meals, but don’t skip them entirely. Eating protein and vegetables instead of bread, chips, candy, and cookies will hold you over best.
Make a shopping list and stick to it. Eat before you shop. It will help you stick to your list.
Plate your food. Rather than continually picking, which equates to seconds, thirds, and more, peruse the food choices first. Once you know what is available, decide what you will eat, put that on your plate, eat it, and be done.
Position yourself. If confronting a buffet, don’t sit near that table. It’s too tempting.
Move. Put on some lively music and move to it. Plan games of movement, walks, or runs.
Throw it out. Don’t keep foods at home that tempt you and others to get off track.
And, don’t overspend. Overspending financially or making too many commitments causes stress. Stress isn’t good for you. Enjoyment, on the other hand, is good for you.
Enjoy the holidays being healthy and happy!
Feel free to contact me at: (212)-933-1756/ firstname.lastname@example.org.