Friday, December 11, 2015

Healthy Habits for the Holidays from Boulet PT and Wellness!

Healthy Habits for the Holidays!
Here comes Santa Claus right down Santa Claus lane...and here comes all of the bad holiday eating habits that follow!
Everyone seems to just give up on their healthy eating habits when it comes to the holidays. Most people think it's easier to just splurge through all the parties and then claim they will start back up again with the New Year. Instead of allowing yourself to fall back into old bad habits, take on holiday eating with a different approach - a HEALTHY approach. Avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain with these 10 helpful tips. 
 1. Don't Show Up to the Party Hungry
Showing up to a party with an empty stomach will only make you crave all of the unhealthy food when you see it displayed on the table. Try to eat a nutritious snack before you head to the party. If you eat something healthy beforehand to help curb your appetite, you'll be less tempted to dive head first into the figgy pudding.

2. Remember What You're Really Celebrating
We all get so distracted about the holiday food that we forget what the holidays are truly about: spending time with loved ones. Divert your attention away from the food and enjoy a good conversation with friends and family instead. Maybe even start a fun game of Secret Santa! 
3. Eat at a Slower Pace
Eating slower will help to fill you up faster. It's not a race; chew at a slower pace and don't overstuff yourself. 
4. Count Your H'Orderves 
Try not to make a meal out of the appetizers. Set a limit for yourself before you start your pre-meal snacking. If there are toothpicks, keep the toothpicks in your pocket to keep track of how many you've eaten.
5. Be Smarter Than the Buffet
If your family enjoys more of the buffet style holiday meal, there are ways to not over-indulge. Grab a smaller plate so you don't have as much room to fill with unnecessary food. Try to stick to the lighter, simpler foods, such as the shrimp cocktail or fruits and vegetables. Don't go straight for all of the dips and sauces. 

6. Stick with the Non-Alcoholic Eggnog
Not only does drinking alcohol bring additional unwanted calories, but it also impairs your ability to control the rest of your healthy eating choices. One cocktail or glass of spiked eggnog won't hurt, but limit yourself. 
7. Pick & Choose Sweets 
Just because there are several dessert options doesn't mean you have to sample each and every one. If you're the type that can be satisfied with "just one bite", then just take a little bite of everything to get a taste. If you're like most people, stopping at one bite is nearly impossible. If that's more like you, choose the dessert you absolutely are dying to try, just make it a smaller portion. Sometimes you CAN have your cake and eat it too, just not too much!
8. Bring Your Own Options
Don't get stuck with only unhealthy options for the family party or office potluck you're attending. Make a healthier dessert option or a low-calorie side dish that you and other healthy-conscious guests can enjoy. 

9. Avoid 'Tastes' While Cooking
People tend to lose their appetites when they've been slaving away in the kitchen all day long and sampling the food as they go. This year, only allow for two small bites of each dish for pre- and post-seasoning needs. Save the real tasting for the full meal with the entire family. It will be much more enjoyable that way.

10. Replace Your After Dinner Nap with a Walk
Families often wander to the couches shortly after the holiday meal is complete to rest. Instead of taking the typical after-dinner nap, start a new tradition: the after-dinner walk. Don't worry with changing into workout attire. Just a simple walk around the neighborhood will help to keep your body moving and your metabolism working while all of the holiday food is digesting. Take advantage of the walk to look at all of the Christmas lights in the neighborhood. Or, if you're really feeling festive, maybe try your hand at a little Christmas caroling. Not only will it prevent you from slugging around after dinner, but it will also add to the Christmas spirit of your holiday party. 

Following these tips should be easily attainable. Just remember, while we all love the food that comes with the holidays, it's not the sole purpose of the celebrations. Put down the second plate of Grandma's casserole and focus on the people you're surrounded with. The holiday food will eventually disappear from sight, but the memories you make will last forever. Don't let your only memory be of how much food you ate. 


Make this holiday season a season of giving. We are holding a month long Lafayette Animal Aid drive for food and supplies. The last day to bring goods to our office for the drive will be December 18th. Even one item makes a difference for these animals. Embrace the true meaning of the holidays and help these animals. 

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