4 Effortless Ways to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

Skating rink at Victoria Park, London ON.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You probably don’t want an extra 5 pounds of fat for Christmas, do you?

Yeah, neither do I, but with eggnog and hot chocolate and candy laying around everywhere, not to mention the several feasts that happen around this season, get togethers with friends over long and decadent dinners, and all of the baking that suddenly appears at the office, it can be nearly impossible to stave off the extra weight if you aren’t careful.

Especially with office holiday parties the calories add up very quickly. I remember one year I gained probably four or five pounds just from all of the goodies, and I was not happy having to work it off in the new year. It’s not fun having to get out in the cold for extended workouts if you don’t buy into the gym membership craze.

Like anybody, I love the Christmas goodies, but I don’t plan to let them give me the gift of tight pants this year.

Here are a few things that I plan on doing to cut back on the calories and prevent the holiday weight gain that seems inevitable to so many:

Stay Active – Even In the Winter

I live in Canada, so even though I live in probably the warmest place in the entire country, we still live in close proximity to snow and ski mountains. I love winter sports and they are great for burning a lot of calories in just one activity.

Walks and runs are fine, but if it’s cold out they can be pretty unpleasant (not to mention dangerous, since you risk slipping on ice). Instead, try ice skating, snowshoeing, skiing or snowboarding, and even sledding. Believe it or not, walking back up those sledding hills with a giant board in your arms or towing behind you actually burns a lot of calories.

Plus, these activities are all fun, so you won’t talk yourself out of them as readily as going to the gym.

Avoid Drinking Your Calories

I try to practice this throughout the year, not just during the holidays, but don’t drink your calories! Hot chocolates, lattes, eggnog, and Christmas cocktails all add up really quickly, and it’s not worth it when there are other goodies to be eaten.

One great way to break yourself of the habit of reaching for a hot chocolate is substitute for tea. It won’t be the same at first, at least, but you’ll get used to it and probably even really appreciate it after awhile.

I recommend tea rather than just plain, cold water because it warms you and also fills you up. It’s the perfect substitute around Christmas (and year round, for that matter).

Allow Yourself Treats – In Moderation

We all know deprivation leads to excess, so if you really want that cookie, eat it! Allowing yourself a treat here and there is far more sustainable than cutting them out completely. Every time I try to cut something out completely, I binge on it later and it reverses all of the good work that I’ve done in that area.

Moderation is key.

Wait it Out

So you’ve already let yourself have that cookie and you want another one. The craving is super bad and you can hardly stop yourself from reaching over for another one.

Make an agreement with your brain to let yourself have another cookie, but in a certain amount of time in the future.

For instance, you might tell yourself that you can have another cookie but not until after dinner. That will often make you forget about it, but your brain will be more cooperative with your craving because you’ll have told that side of it that you’ll let it have what it wants eventually.

This has actually been proven to work, so try it out and see if it works for you.


4 Effortless Ways to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season — 8 Comments

  1. I love all of your suggestions, especially not drinking the calories. It’s such a sneaky way to gain weight!

  2. I don’t like baked goods all that much and I think that helps me during the holidays. My problem is with the really sweet stuff- like fudge. I could eat fudge all day =/
    Fortunately, a few pieces is usually enough to put me into a sugar coma.

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