The last couple weeks of December are often filled with friends, family and celebrations. They can also be filled with too much food, decreased exercise habits, and subsequent weight gain.
According to OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center Dietician Ginger Becker, starting over during the New Year can be a daunting task, but reflection and positivity can make a healthy lifestyle seem achievable.
“One tip I have for going into 2017 is to make a list of what went right with eating and fitness in 2016,” said Becker. “Focus on the positive, such as, ‘I increased my water intake over other beverages or I always had a piece of fruit when I felt like a candy bar.’”
While the holiday season brings around delicious foods unique to this time of year, developing strategies to avoid over-indulging and staying active is important to your overall health.
Try these tips
- Don’t show up to a gathering hungry. If you aren’t overly hungry, chances are you won’t overload your plate.
- Enjoy a large glass of water before putting food on your plate. A glass of water can ease your cravings and help you avoid loading up a large plate of food.
- Use a smaller plate for food. This is an easy way to practice portion control.
- Go for a walk a few hours after a meal. Once your stomach settles, it is time to burn off some of those calories you consumed.
- Eat with people, not the television. Enjoy conversation and eat slowly with friends and family instead of mindlessly eating in front of the television.
- Commit to a regular exercise schedule before the holidays are over. Waiting until the New Year to begin exercising doesn’t always produce great results.