December Fitness Tips
By Michelle Walker, 169th Force Support Squadron
/ Published December 08, 2020
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --
The holiday season might not be a time to lose weight, but it doesn't have to be a time to lose your health. The key is to go into the holidays with a plan. Here are five ways to keep your health over the holidays.
Tip #1: Shop well for yourself
It is more important than ever to stock your kitchen with healthy foods. Have healthy snacks handy. The more convenient they are, the more likely you are to eat them. Instead of thinking about what you shouldn't eat, promise to eat your three to five servings of vegetables each day.
Tips #2: Schedule your exercise
Your schedule will be very hectic this holiday season. Schedule your workouts just as you would any other appointment. It's ok if you can't make it to class, but make sure that you get some activity in at least three days per week.
Tip #3: Just say no
You probably aren't aware how much extra food you consume just from people offering it to you. A sample at the market here, an extra cookie at an office party adds up. Just think twice before you take that food and decide if you really want it.
Tip #4: Skip the baking
Do you make baked goods for giving? Chances are you eat much of what you bake. Who wouldn't? Instead make non-food gifts, or prepare ingredients for baked goods and put them in pretty jars – let your gift recipient bake it up. That way, they can eat it when they want it and you don't have to be tempted in the kitchen.
Tip #5: Hydrate
Keep your water bottle with you at all times. Try to get in half your body weight in ounces of water. Ex: If you weigh 150 pounds, you need 75 ounces of water daily.
Additional healthy holiday nutrition tips
- Don’t skip meals. Skipping a meal with the goal of saving calories prior to a holiday event can often backfire and lead to overeating due to ravenous feelings of hunger. Having a filling snack, such as fruit, string cheese, yogurt or a handful of nuts can help to curb your appetite and prevent overeating.
- Contribute a healthy dish. Ensure at least one nutritious choice is available at potlucks by contributing a healthy dish.
- Choose your splurges. Scan the buffet or dinner table and choose a couple holiday favorites to splurge on instead of foods that you can have any other day of the year.
- Think color. Make a plate look festive by including fruits and veggies. Aim to cover half the plate.
- Choose drinks wisely. Stick to calorie-free drinks, such as water, tea or seltzer, instead of high-calorie festive drinks. Alcoholic beverages contribute empty calories and can cause you to make poor judgments with food. If you do choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation and alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water.
- Visit the people, not the food. Move socializing away from the buffet or appetizer table to prevent mindless eating.
- Say no to food pushers (politely).
- Savor seasonal treats. Having treats once a year will not make or break your weight. Make sure you take time to really taste and enjoy that special treat when you have it.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. No one likes that icky, stuffed feeling after a meal. Eat slowly and check your fullness levels while you’re eating. Remember — there are always leftovers!
- Don’t feel guilty. If you did overindulge, don’t beat yourself up. Just make sure your next meal is healthy and be sure to incorporate exercise into your routine.