Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tips for healthy living this holiday season

These tips are not for you, they are for me. If I write down what I plan to do, I am more likely to go through with it. Plus, if I write it down for you all to see, maybe we all can help each other.

How many of us decide we are going to eat all the yummy holiday food for the next 6 weeks and worry about our health later? I found myself contemplating what I was going to do next week at Thanksgiving dinner. Do I just forget about how much I love the food because I am being "health concious?" Or, do I forget about my health and stuff as much good food down my throat as possible? What about all the parties and get-togethers coming up - how do we handle resisting all those delicious baked goodies?

Well, my overall suggestion would be to not resist them all (enjoy the food), but not eat them all either (don't stuff yourself). Easier said than done, right? Here are 10 tips for doing just that. Some came from a couple of articles I read, and some are just from me. I don't believe in setting goals you can't reach, so hopefully this are practical enough.

1. We seem to hang out around the table on Thanksgiving day, even after the meal. As soon as everyone is done eating, take the food off the table and put the dirty plates away. I find myself eating more simply because my plate is in front of me - not because I am hungry.

2. Make lower-fat substitutions when it comes to oil (canola or olive) and butter. Do mashed potatoes really need butter? If so, let each individual put it on their serving themselves so they can determine how much is right for them. Oh, and use non-fat evaporated milk for your pumpkin pie. Nobody has ever said anything bad about my pies and I've never used the real stuff.

3. Continue your normal eating habits each day. Skipping meals or snacks will just make you hungrier and mess with your body's schedule.

4. Take smaller helpings. If you are still hungry, I am sure more will be available. But, don't just get seconds because you feel like you have to. Have leftovers the next day instead.

5. Don't stand and talk next to the food at parties and dinners. Make a point to stand farther away so that you have to make a concious effort to get more treats.

6. Get moving! Instead of sitting around all day, go for a walk or play football or some other game outside. Even go to the mall and walk around. Don't stop your normal work-out schedule either. Continue to make time to take care of yourself throughout the busy season. You might find that you have more energy.

7. Drink iced tea and water instead of drinks with sugar.

8. If your office is anything like mine, you'll start to receive Christmas gifts from various vendors and clients. Which for us, means 20+ boxes of Godiva chocolates - oh my, sweet goodness - sittin on MY desk. Don't even tell yourself you aren't going to have ANY this year - let's be realistic, people! Instead, bring your own snacks to work and eat those so that you don't fill up on the sweets. Eat 1 a day at the most; and don't just take one because they are there. Actually, be hungry for it and enjoy it more. (Like I said, I'm telling myself these tips too!)

9. Don't keep a lot of baked items and sweets around the house. Make them for others, or for get-togethers. You will eat enough treats at parties that you don't need to have them around you all the time. Take leftovers to the office so you can get rid of them.

10. Don't plan on losing weight. Just plan on being healthy and maintaining your current weight. Eat moderately, don't gorge. Enjoy the time with family and friends MORE than enjoying the food.

Do you have any tips for staying healthy throughout the holidays while still enjoying them? What works for you?

PS - Can you tell this is what I want to do with my life someday?


Dr. and Mrs. Thomas said...

wow. It just took me a good 15 minutes to get caught up on you. haha. Few comments...

1. I have come to embrace my gluttany, expecially around Nov/Dec. =) I am of no help. haha
2. Richards boards!! WOOOHOOO!!! Can you believe he only has a semester left!?!!? Actually, these dang computer tests will probably be a ton of studying, but for the practical you might have most of your man back cause there really isn't that much to study for it- you either can do it or you can't. no pressure. haha
3. I am jealous of your caroling experiences. Totally wish we were there so we could drag Richard and Ry around with us!! How much fun would that be!!! I better see some good mid-song pictures up here in a few weeks!

Laura said...

nice background and multiple columns! :)
now heather, don't you know iced tea has sugar in it (if you're drinking it right).
happy thanksgiving! see you many days from now!

Leah Pobanz said...

Hey Heather
Ready to try crocheting a beanie? I learned, it turned out....okay and functional. I meant it to be for Kate, ended up for ME! As for the blog thing, If you want a cute background, you can go to of fun stuff.

Amber said...

Great job on need to become an RD someday! =)