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15 Tips For Sensible Holiday Living

  1. Limit the variety of foods consumed at an event; if you put many different types of food on your plate, you are likely to consume significantly more calories than you think.
  2. Make physical activity a routine part of the day; it burns calories, helps manage stress and is beneficial to our general health.
  3. Drink plenty of water; it's calorie-free and benefits our bodies in many ways from regulating body temperature to removing waste.
  4. Learn to recognize and acknowledge your true hunger and appetite. Don't automatically accept seconds and if you have eaten enough, just stop (help with portion sizes).
  5. While Christmas and other holidays are a special time for being with family, they are just another day of the year when it comes to what you eat. Don't undo all the good work of the year by gaining pounds over the holidays and then feeling disappointed with yourself.
  6. To reduce stress allow time for yourself; don't feel obliged to attend every event you are invited to, if you really don't want to go, simply decline politely.
  7. Have bowls of nuts and dried fruit for snacking instead of the bottomless plates of sweets.
  8. Raw vegetables with dips (hummus, guacamole or salsa) are a good alternative to pastries, cookies and cakes.
  9. Trim down the fat by using fat-free ingredients or skipping the crust and eating the filling. Pie gets most of its fat and calories from the crust.
  10. Work out more than your wallet. When shopping, wear comfortable shoes and see how quickly you can walk from store to store. Put on a pedometer and monitor how many steps you are taking.
  11. Dance or do exercises to your favorite holiday music.
  12. Stay away from the buffet table to avoid "unconscious nibbling."
  13. Count to 10 before you reach for more. Think about what you're eating and whether you really want it.
  14. Put your stress on a schedule. Set aside a specific time every day and give yourself permission to worry during that period.
  15. Schedule quiet time for yourself. Read, listen to music, meditate, or take a warm bath or shower. Treat yourself well � you deserve it.

These tips apply year round, but are especially important during the holidays! Don't beat yourself up if you do overeat and don't exercise as much as you had hoped. It is never too late to get moving and start eating healthier. Take small steps and track your progress. The rewards will be lifelong. Remember 10 minutes of physical activity count. If you don't have a large block of time to devote to physical activity, then carve out 10 minute increments where you can throughout the day. It all adds up and makes a difference! 10 minutes of something is better than 10 minutes of nothing!!!