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Posted on 11-07-2016

November and December bring about two of the most family oriented holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Families come together to enjoy each other’s company, friends exchange gifts and everyone seems to be in a very merry mood. Along with the holiday cheer comes the copious amounts of dips, fatty foods, and sweets. Almost everyone has heard the phrase “loosening your belt for the holiday holidays.” Although this is phrase is usually said in a joking manner, it doesn’t have to be true for you! Everyone is entitled to their cheat days during the holidays, who can honestly resist a piece of pumpkin pie during this time of year? However, every day shouldn’t be a cheat day to keep your body happy and healthy.

We have selected five of our favorite tips for staying healthy during the holidays. Feel free to browse through the options, pick your favorites or even try some this year!

  1. Drink more water! There are always plenty of sweets and unhealthy snacks available to you during the holidays. Drinking water will help your body feel full so you won’t be tempted to eat one… or four of those treats. Also, make sure you drink a glass of water after each glass of alcohol you consume. This will force you to slow down when consuming alcohol, stay hydrated, and reduce the number of empty calories you consume. Your metabolism will be working at maximum efficiency and you will feel very energized.
  2. Get plenty of sleep! During the holidays people are always running from one house to the next. Everyone stays up later and wakes up earlier. When you don’t get enough sleep your body will crave unhealthy foods and your stress level may be higher than usual. Without sleep you may also find yourself catching a cold or the flu around the holiday season. By not getting enough sleep you are decreasing the efficiency of your immune system and are more likely to get sick!
  3. Plan ahead! Before you go to your party, or out to your favorite restaurant, decide what you are going to get before you leave your house. Don’t look at the other options when you are there, just get what you planned to get. This is very helpful if there is a buffet style dinner with many unhealthy choices. Also, because you have been thinking about what you’re getting your brain will make you want that specific meal even more. When it comes to dessert it is best to pick one option that is only available during that time of year. You can have chocolate cake and brownies any time of year, but how often does peppermint bark appear on the dessert tray?
  4. Cut the cans! During this time of year there are a few staple choices many families always have on their table: corn, cranberry sauce, and stuffing. Canned and packaged foods contain almost triple the amount of sugar and salt that homemade foods consist of. You also don’t have as much control over the ingredients in packaged foods. The best way to overcome this is to buy less canned/packaged food during the holiday season. One easy thing you can do is swap out canned corn for a frozen bag of corn. If you’re feeling very creative, try a new stuffing or cranberry sauce recipe. Both taste better fresh!
  5. Use a smaller plate! This is an old but favorite trick! By using a smaller plate, you will trick your brain into thinking you have more food than you do! Even though you will only consume about half of the food you normally would, your brain will think it is a regular plate of food. Just make sure you eat your meal slowly and don’t go for seconds… or thirds! 

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