Fall into a healthy path towards the New Year
Fall is just around the corner; the holiday season is fast approaching. By the time the New Year rolls around, we will have most likely overindulged at least once. It’s the holidays and we can’t pass up our favorite foods and desserts that come with this time of year. Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season. There are the celebrations at work, social gatherings with family and Thanksgiving dinner. This is soon followed by Christmas, the occasional get-togethers and finally New Year’s parties. By then, we are usually trying to come up with healthier eating habits and exercise as our New Year’s resolutions.
We know that at times keeping up with these resolutions can be difficult as we get busy with a new year and all it brings. Then, why not think about starting our changes before the celebrations begin? Maybe this way we can enjoy the festivities and not feel as guilty about the extra sweets and larger meals.
Making a few small changes which you can start now can help you with this goal. We know small changes add up and can go a long way. Increasing your current activity even just for a few minutes a day can be a great start.
Some ideas that can help during this time of the year:
- Start a new holiday tradition with the family that involves an outdoor activity.
- Take advantage of the fall weather and go outside more often.
- Take nature walks and enjoy the fall scenery.
- Walk with a friend/child.
- Walk the dog.
- Find a nature trail.
- If you can’t go outside, consider increasing your indoor activities.
- Walk on the treadmill a little every day.
- Consider a gym class.
- Try a dance class.
- Decrease the amount of time you spend in front of a TV or computer.
- Make small changes to your diet starting now.
- Avoid having extra sweetened drinks.
- Snack on healthy items between meals, if you are hungry.
- Avoid the higher fat foods and desserts that you will get to enjoy during the holidays.
- Create a plan for yourself before you go to holiday celebrations.
- Pick one: Do you want extra dessert or extra appetizers?
- Eat something healthy before you go to the holiday event so you are not starving. (Avoid not eating all day because you know the food will be great when you get there).
- Consider how many different celebrations will you be attending.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Don’t snack constantly on all the holiday goodies (which you know will be available for 2 months) at work or at home.
- If you have potlucks at work or with family, bring a yummy healthy dish.
- If someone gives you a holiday treat, share it with co-workers and your family.
- Eat slowly and enjoy your food.
- Remember there is a difference between indulgence and overindulgence.
- Indulging is allowing yourself to enjoy something you like that you usually don’t get every day. It’s like having a double hot fudge sundae once a week.
- Overindulging usually does not make us feel good since we eat past the point our body can handle. So the second helping of turkey and sweet potatoes is different than getting thirds and extra pie and then finishing the box of cookies someone brought over just because they are yummy.