Pass the Potatoes!

Don't let the holiday season derail your health goals! Discover 5 easy tips for staying on track while still enjoying time with family and friends.

Thanksgiving feast including turkey
Profile image of Sheri, RN

Sheri, RN

Head of Nursing Services

It’s that time of the year, the most wonderful time of the year, as some say. The time of the year for feasts, desserts, gatherings and the inevitable guilt! Don’t stress, let’s go over a few tricks to get through the holidays guilt free!

One of the most important steps to overall health and wellbeing is strong social networks. The benefit of having a piece of pumpkin pie with family and making memories is more powerful than you may realize. Having a game plan to stay (sort of) on track is great, but a slight derailment doesn’t mean it’s over. Let’s not forget about tomorrow!

I Have a Plan!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, and the December holidays just to follow, there is a lot to look forward to. But, let’s be honest, there’s always something lurking around the corner to tip the scales. So here are my 5 top tips to get through any tempting period.

1) Plan Ahead! You can’t always plan for what your family will serve for dinner, but you can plan for the meals around it. I try to always have meals prepped in my fridge that fit the lifestyle I am trying to adhere to. Even if dinner at my mom’s house doesn’t fit in my diet, I know that the rest of my day and hopefully week, are planned out for success!

2) Don’t Say No! If you want the cake, eat the cake! You can’t get this season back, and most cultures build memories around the dining table. We form nostalgia around the meals our families made for us. These moments are important! That feeling I get eating the meatballs, that I learned to make from my great grandmother, are irreplaceable. These feelings lower stress in our bodies and increase dopamine, serotonin and endorphins (the happiness hormones). So, like I said, eat the cake!

3) Stay Active! This one is simple. Keep moving. If you are like me and you are running (not literally) in a million directions, you don’t always have time for the gym, or a proper workout. I get it! But, after dinner, you do have time to take a 15-minute walk with your family. Put your morning coffee in your Yeti and take the dog out for an extra 10 minutes. Park in the last spot in the lot and get an extra 200 steps. Take the stairs. Throughout the day, these all add up and can make a difference.

4) Drink Up! I know what you’re thinking, how can wine keep me on track?? Sorry, I mean water!! Not only does staying hydrated keep our system working at top capacity, but it can also help make us feel full. Before you anticipate a large meal, drink 8oz water, it can help you eat a little less. And, if you do plan on partaking in a little holiday spirit, be sure to drink a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages. It will pace your alcohol consumption, and maybe lessen that next day headache!

and the final trick is….

5) Get Back to the Basics!! Do what you know works for your body to feel good and work well. If you are feeling sluggish, check your water intake. If you can’t get through the day without an afternoon coffee, ask yourself, “How much did I sleep last night?” Feeling like you just can’t eat enough, and are always craving another meal? Maybe track your food for a couple days, I would bet you are low on protein. And finally, when you feel like the stress of the holidays is getting to be too much, carve out some social time, and laugh!! Laugh as much and as hard as you can, there are few things as good for the mind and spirit as great company and laughter.

Enjoy your holiday season. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Spend time with family and friends and make memories. You can follow these few tips, to keep your goals in view, and when you are ready to buckle down and get back to business, you’ll only have a few adjustments, and you’ll be back on track!

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