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Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

During the holidays, family and friends join together to celebrate the season and enjoy each other’s company. Gatherings are filled with traditions, laughter, and most often, food. To stay healthy and avoid holiday weight gain, take the proper steps to survive holiday eating.

This year, don’t let the holiday season add pounds and inches to your body. With a few minor adjustments, you can enjoy your holiday food traditions without the typical end result. The following are eight tips for controlling your holiday eating habits.

  1. Don’t forget to exercise. Whether you are an avid runner or a leisure walker, remember to stay active. While the holiday season tends to be the busiest, set apart some time to get moving. A simple 30 minute walk every day will keep your body active while helping you maintain a healthy weight.

  2. Portion control. You don’t have to deny yourself from all your favorite holiday foods, but satisfy your taste buds with a smaller portion rather than a plate full.

  3. Drink water. We often mistake thirst for hunger and eat to satisfy our stomachs. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult should drink between 9-13 cups of water every day to maintain good health.

  4. Bring healthy alternatives. If attending a holiday gathering, bring a healthy option such as a salad, fruits, or vegetables to give substitutions to the usual foods.

  5. Eat your calories. For many, enjoying a holiday cocktail is part of the tradition. If trying to watch your weight, enjoy a non-alcoholic version, although make sure to watch for added sugars, to lower your calorie intake. If enjoying an adult beverage, use no calorie mixers or break it up with a glass of water.

  6. Do not skip a meal. When we know a feast is coming, we tend to save stomach space in order to indulge. Entering a meal on an empty stomach can lead to unhealthy choices and overeating. Before your next party, curb your appetite with small snack before leaving the house.

  7. Stay physically healthy. Besides eating well, it is important to get enough sleep and keep your body and mind well during the busy holiday season.

  8. Be realistic. Creating a goal will be specific to you and your body. Do not compare your habits to others and set an individual action plan for success. Don’t let others tempt you but remember to enjoy your favorites.

Whether dining in or attending a holiday celebration, maintaining healthy eating habits can help you enjoy the season, and how you feel for the New Year.

If you are living with a chronic condition or follow a specific diet for health related reasons, consult with your physician before changing eating habits and physical activity routines.

If your loved one requires assistance around the house, including meal planning and preparation, find out today if they would benefit from private-duty personal care services from VNA of Ohio's Home Assist™.

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