With so many things to get done during the holiday season, it may seem that even superhero willpower isn’t enough when it comes to eating right and exercising. But making the healthy choice the easy choice is possible with just a little planning ahead and some strategic changes to your surroundings.
At home: Keep healthy food close at hand to reduce the urge to overindulge in the not-so-good-for-you foods. Replace a candy dish with a bowl of nuts or seasonal fruit, such as dates, figs, pomegranates or clementines. Holiday baking can have a healthy twist, too, with a few ingredient substitutions, a few can be found here.
In the office: Slip a little health onto the potluck table. Whole grain crackers, flatbreads, veggie dips made with Greek yogurt and pickled vegetable platters provide nutritious choices. If your office is adventurous, plan a salad potluck, a healthy snack potluck, or that focuses on island fruits, such as pineapple, kiwi, guava and the exotic rambutan.
At the holiday table: For those big holiday meals with friends and family, dig out grandma’s china, which is typically about 10 inches in diameter. Choose only the foods you really want to eat, sampling fruits and veggies first. Using the 10-inch plate is an easy tool to keep portions satisfying without overdoing it.
Your personal space: Every little bit of movement adds up when it comes to keeping the pounds from piling on. If you find yourself running short on time for fitness, squeeze it in where you can. Walk for a few minutes during lunch time; take the stairs rather than the elevator; do a few standing crunches while working in the kitchen; or start the day off with a few morning push-ups.
We’ve pulled together a few other resources to keep the holidays happy and healthy:
Recipes and tips:
- Don’t Gain—Maintain Challenge
- Top 10 Tips for Surviving the Holidays from the American Council on Exercise