Wellness Wednesday Tips of the Week

Believe it or not, the holiday season is creeping up right around the corner.  It's the time of year that people get wrapped up in holiday shopping, holiday parties, traveling and finishing all of the end of the year obligations.  November and December are historically the two months of the year people tend to put their fitness routine and healthy eating on the back burner, therefore putting on unwanted holiday weight.  Don't wait until January to get on track!  Here are some tips for staying on track with your wellness goals during the holiday season.

1. Portion control

Turkey day is a full day of gluttony, which typical ends in either a stomach ache or a full on food coma.  This year, try something new and portion your plate out in quarters.  One fourth of your plate filled with delicious turkey (or your meat of choice), half of your plate loaded with vegetables (think of the less-starchy options here), and then the last bit of the plate for an indulgence (as opposed to 3/4 of your plate with indulgences).  Thanksgiving day is just one example, apply a similar mindset to the desert table at parties, maybe one cookie instead of five.  Small changes go a long way.

2. Make time for your workouts

Making time for some exercise, even if its just 15-20 minutes a day during the holidays makes a difference.  First thing in the morning is best, that way it won't interrupt any of the holiday celebrations.  Partner up with a family member or a friend to stay accountable.  A little Christmas day morning workout= a lot less guilt during Christmas dinner. 

3. Make healthy decisions on the road

Like most people, you may be traveling during the holidays and airports and fast food restaurants are the convenient go to option for food while traveling.  Just a little bit of pre-traveling prep can help you avoid the greasy burgers and low quality airport snacks.  Check out one of my previous blog post about Staying Healthy While Traveling for some tips.

4. Steer clear of the sugary drinks

Nothing screams weight gain faster than all the holiday coffee drinks, specialty cocktails, and of course eggnog.  Starting your day with a mocha-choca-peppermint-pumpkin sugar bomb is like eating 5 candy bars for breakfast.  The sugar crash far outweighs the joy of the sugar and caffeine rush it starts with.  Word to the wise, avoid these at all costs.  Stick to clear liquors with light mixers at parties, or just a glass of red wine.  All the sugary cocktail punches not only pack on the pounds, but they pack one hell of a hangover the next day.  Think before you drink :)

5. Spend time actually connecting with others

The holiday season always focuses on gift giving, but is that really the most important thing during this this time of the year?  Try something new this year and instead of expensive gifts, maybe spend some quality time with the ones you love.  Time is priceless.  Spend some time in the kitchen with your mom or grandma and learn the tricks of making a secret family recipe.  Play outside in the snow with your kids or siblings, play a board game or cards as a family instead of playing on your electronics.  Quality time to connect with the ones you love far outweighs the feelings that any material gift will bring you.

6. Start making goals for the new year

You don't need to wait until January 1st to start making your goals for 2015.  Spend some time over the next two months assessing where you are in your job, health, relationship, and happiness and do some reflecting on what changes you have made this year.  Its great to put your goals on paper and spend the holiday season talking with loved ones about your big plans for the new year.  Its a great way to not only connect with but to possible inspire those around you to make big strides in life.

7. Stay hydrated

When it gets colder outside we tend to have less of a desire to drink water.  Staying hydrated in winter is just as important to your body as it is in the warmer months.  Stay hydrated by carrying around a water bottle with you as a reminder to drink up!  Alcohol consumption is increased during the holidays, nothing screams dehydration more than a few adult beverages.  Drink a few glasses of water before bed,  or enjoy some coconut water.  You can always spruce up regular tap water with some lemons, limes, berries or mint to make it more interesting.

8. Treat yourself

There are several ways to treat yourself without actually having a sweet treat.  Get a massage, go see a movie, get a mani/pedi, spend time doing a hobby you love, sleep in,  or do whatever makes you feel good!  Pick any calorie-free activity and indulge this holiday season.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!