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Staying Healthy Through the Holidays

To say it’s hard to stay healthy through the holidays is an understatement; between the fatty foods, sugary desserts, and colorfully decorated drinks, it’s truly not easy to resist the temptations. When you do decide to indulge in the holiday treats, keep in mind that it’s important to maintain a balance and get the proper nutrients and activity needed to keep yourself healthy.

If you’re having trouble finding balance at the holiday feast, then check out our tips for staying healthy through the holidays!

Don’t go to the party starving

Make sure that you eat before going to a holiday event; being hungry can alter your decision making, but having a pre-party snack can help manage your eating impulses. Have an apple, some plain yogurt and banana, or even a slice of whole grain toast and avocado before going to the holiday festivities, for some nutrient-rich snacks that’ll curb your appetite.

Trick your brain

Oversized plates make normal sized portions visually appear smaller, which could make people want to get more food than usual. Avoid this by using smaller plates, and when you’re finished the first plate, wait 20 minutes before getting up for seconds. Why? It takes your brain about 20 minutes to realize it’s full, so be patient and avoid overeating. It can be tempting to overindulge on the deliciously fatty foods, but you probably won’t enjoy the side effects that come with it.

Eat smart

Holiday food doesn’t have to be unhealthy; on the contrary, there are healthy alternatives that can be just as delicious!

What are healthy holiday food alternatives?

Indulging in hot chocolate or eggnog may be tempting, but the empty calories and high sugar contents will likely just upset your stomach and make you feel sluggish. Try enjoying some tea instead of hot chocolate and go for an almond milk eggnog instead of the traditional formula.

When you’re eyeing out the pre-dinner snacks and appetizers, steer clear of the cheese or cream-based dips. Go instead for some Greek yogurt-based dips or even hummus to save yourself the calories and gain important nutrients.

As for the main course and sides, they are typically carb and calorie heavy. Sweet potatoes are an ideal healthy substitute for traditional potatoes, or you can take it a step further and enjoy mashed cauliflower instead of having any potatoes. Similarly, zucchini noodles are an amazing alternative to spaghetti; they may be shaped the same, but zoodles don’t contain the empty carbs and are instead filled with vitamins and fiber.

Oh, but what about dessert? Don’t worry, you can still enjoy sweets all the while staying healthy. If you’re committed to chocolate, then try to stick with dark chocolate because it contains antioxidants and is an anti-inflammatory food. As for pies, cakes, and cookies, the best options are the ones baked with healthy substitutes like whole wheat flour, egg whites, and whole-milk alternatives like almond milk.

Think before you drink

Social drinking during the holidays is a common pass time, but might not be the healthiest option. Healthcare professionals suggest that you avoid alcohol all together, but if you want to indulge in a drink, then it’s best to avoid heavy or dark beers and liquors. Most importantly, remember to stay hydrated and drink water!

Be active

After a holiday meal, relaxing on the couch usually seems like a good idea. Instead, it’s best to drink water and go for a walk or do some kind of light exercise to help with digestion. Avoid lying down or drinking coffee or alcohol soon after eating, as they can cause heartburn and impair your digestion.

Chill out

The holiday season is supposed to be the jolliest time of the year, yet it can be difficult to find time for joy amid the stresses of overspending, gift wrapping, cleaning, cooking, and the endless list of things to do. It can feel overwhelming, but try to stay positive and keep a sense of humor! Remember to give yourself a break and make time for yourself to relax and destress.

Wondering how else to be healthy over the holidays? Give us a call or come to your local carecube to learn more health tips about how to both have fun and be healthy over the holidays. And from all of us at Carecube, have a happy, healthy holiday season!

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Call or come into your local CareCube today to learn how we can help you!