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Christmas is almost synonymous with baked goods. I’ve been dreaming about sugar cookies and gingerbread and chocolate covered pretzels for months! However, just because the season is full of sweet treats doesn’t mean we have to over indulge.
I usually treat December as one giant free for all. Candy for breakfast, homemade Chex mix for lunch, and finish the day with a few cookies for dinner. Unfortunately, I also spend December feeling sluggish, tired, and not really fitting into most of my pants. This year, I made a promise to myself that I would indulge in my favorites, but not go crazy. I’m hoping to have a great Christmas season while remaining relatively healthy (I mean it is the only time I can justify Chex mix for lunch so I’m not giving that up!). Will you join me?
1. Stay hydrated.
One of the most important things throughout this holiday season is to stay hydrated. Oftentimes, when you feel hungry, you are actually just thirsty. Try to drink at least 2 liters of water a day. Not only will this quench your thirst, but it can clear up skin and give you an extra boost of energy. Water can also help perk you up after a night of celebrating.
2. Always eat breakfast.
The days can get derailed pretty quickly. A typical December day usually brings multiple trays of homemade goodies, dinner out and drinks with friends, and Christmas parties galore. Be sure to start each day on a good note with a filling breakfast. If you fill up before you even leave the house, you are less likely to snack throughout the day and can feel better splurging on that third cookie after dinner.
3. Get up and move.
Even if you can’t make it to the gym, be sure to squeeze in a quick walk or at home workout. If you have Christmas celebrations all day, encourage family members to go for a walk with you. Or, offer up a game like kickball or basketball. Not only will the kids be thrilled, but it will get the adults up and moving in a fun way.
4. Set goals.
It’s easy to admit defeat early and go hog wild throughout December. However, on the flip side, you can’t deprive yourself of your usual holiday treats either. Instead, set a few simple goals for each day. You could try, “I will drink 2 liters of water a day” or “I will get 15 minutes of physical activity in each day.” These goals are easy to accomplish and will add some healthy habits back into those crazy holidays.
5. Get active in the morning.
Ordinary days are hectic enough, let alone holiday season days. It’s easy to wake up, blink, and suddenly it’s dinner time and you haven’t crossed one thing off your to do list. Try to squeeze in 15-20 minutes of activity first thing in the morning so it won’t get lost in the shuffle.
6. Offer healthy options.
Chances are, you are responsible for some side dishes or desserts this holiday season. Why not bring a healthy option? For an easy option, try a fruit tray or veggies and dip. If you want to get creative, take your favorite recipe and modify the less healthy ingredients (like subbing coconut sugar, applesauce, mashed bananas, etc.).
7. Find a friend.
Everything is better with a friend, even staying on track. Ask a trustworthy friend to join in your quest to stay healthy. Set goals and keep each other accountable. It’s much easier to drag yourself out of bed and into the gym when someone is waiting there for you.
8. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
It’s Christmas. It’s supposed to be a joyful time with friends and family. If that means gorging on cookies for three days straight, then so be it. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Spend some time enjoying yourself then hop back on the bandwagon the next day. Life is short and meant to be enjoyed!