6 Tips to Stay Healthy & Guilt-Free During the Holiday Season

'Tis the season for family festivities, holiday parties, and delicious food.  The Holidays are a wonderful time of year, but during this magical time comes chaotic schedules, stress, and overindulging.  It’s harder to keep up with a workout routine and not be tempted by sweets and high calorie dishes.  Here are 6 tips to enjoy the Holidays and feel healthy and happy during the holidays.

Tip #1 - Plan Ahead
If you are attending a holiday party avoid going on an empty stomach. Eat a healthy high protein snack before attending, for example apple slices with almond butter. This way you will be less tempted to load up your plate and binge eat on unhealthy foods.

Tip #2 - Offer to Bring a Dish
Holiday parties typically tempt us with a lot of unhealthy food options such as calorie loaded dips, fried foods, cookies and other sweet treats. Ask the host ahead of time if you could bring a dish.  This way you can bring a healthy option to snack on during the festivities.

Tip #3 - Stay Hydrated
It’s important to stay hydrated year round, but during the winter months we typically don't focus on being dehydrated.  Winter dehydration can lower our immune system, cause daytime fatigue and slow down our digestive tract.  If you plan on consuming alcoholic beverages drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink.

Tip #4 - Enjoy Your Food
During a holiday party make a small plate of food and sit down to savor each bite.  Avoid socializing around the food table because our tendency is to start grazing on the food even when we aren’t hungry.

Tip #5 - Make Working Out a Priority
The holidays get crazy, but it is important to keep a regular workout routine.  Working out will help relieve holiday stress and improve your mood, not to mention boost your metabolism, build muscle and burn calories.

Tip #6 - Don’t Beat Yourself Up
During the holidays it’s okay to enjoy a dessert or treat ourselves to a favorite holiday dish, but always think in moderation and keep the portions in check.  During the week, stick to your regular healthy eating habits, to keep feeling great and to enjoy the treat even more.

The Holidays should be about enjoying time with friends and family, not feeling unhealthy and guilty.  Happy Holidays from our family to yours.
481 N. Commons Aurora, IL 60504 (view larger map)