No matter what your attitude toward the holidays, whether you hate them, love them or dread all the work they entail, everyone has to struggle with keeping well. You can make your holidays healthier in Florida. Heading into the year end holidays adds to the stress that’s been building since Halloween. One way to help is to get adequate sleep. Adequate sleep reduces stress and boosts your energy. It helps you make smarter decisions and even eat less. When you lack sleep, ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry increases and the creation of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you’re full is suppressed so you eat more, which results in weight gain.
Don’t skimp on exercise.
If you feel like you’re ready to explode because of stress, maybe it’s time to take a long brisk walk, run up and down the stairs or go work out at the gym. That vigorous exercise can help burn off the hormones of stress. It also can help you lose weight. Besides burning calories, exercise builds muscle tissue, which burns more calories than fat tissue does. The more you have, the higher your metabolism. Also, when you exercise, one of the hormones of stress that’s burned is cortisol, which is linked with the accumulation of visceral—belly—fat.
Eat healthy and don’t skip meals.
You don’t have to pass up Aunt Harriet’s delicious once a year pastries or simply munch on carrot sticks throughout the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you should eat those things every day. Plan and make your meals ahead on the weekend so you aren’t tempted to grab a drive-through dinner. Make sure you have healthy snacks available, such as cut up veggies and dip or fresh fruit, such as cantaloupe, cut and ready in the refrigerator. Package serving size bags of nuts for work or take a few apples. It will help you stay out of the cookie jar at home and at work. When the holidays come, fill up on vegetables and take smaller portions of higher calorie foods, like Aunt Harriet’s delicious pastry.
Don’t forget the water.
Everyone will be raising their glasses in toasts throughout the holiday times. Make smarter choices when it comes to what you drink, too. Alcoholic beverages can pack on the pounds, plus if you drink too many, contribute to health conditions. Stick with lower or no calorie options, such as water. If you want a drink, an extra spicy Bloody Mary could be an option. Infused water—water flavored with fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables—is a great option for anyone trying to achieve healthy living, so if you’re throwing a party, why not have some on hand. Water is the quicker picker-upper, so have a bottle with you at all times during the holidays.
- Make your favorite dishes a little healthier and lower in calories. Use applesauce to replace some of the oil or sugar in baked goods or substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream.
- Spend more time focusing on what the holidays are all about, family and friends, rather than on food and gifts. The biggest gift you can give to others is the gift of your time. Enjoy those moments with family and friends and watch your stress seem to melt.
- Simplify as much as you can. The adults in one family quit exchanging gifts. Instead, each person makes a huge pot of soup and freezes half gallon containers for each family group. At Christmas, they exchange these and everyone has several ready made meals that just needs warming.
- If you’re going to a holiday party where you know everything will pack on the pounds, don’t skip meals before you go. Instead, snack on some healthy options that will fill you up so you’ll eat less when you’re there.
For more information, contact us today at Craig Long Fit