Healthy Holiday Strategy

Posted on Nov 05, 2016

Posted in: Healthy Lifestyle

This time of year can be a slippery slope of Halloween candy, turkey with stuffing and holiday parties with countless trays of hors d’oeuvres.  If you have a healthy holiday strategy you can easily navigate this difficult time of year.

Recently there was a letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine about the effects of the holidays and your weight.  Basically the study showed that the month of October is the skinniest you’ll be all  year. Halloween to New Year’s is the toughest time of year for people’s waist line.  The study also showed that the weight you gain during the holidays doesn’t start coming off until April.  It usually takes until mid-summer before you’re back to your pre-Halloween physique.  I’m sure that this is something that we’ve all experienced. As depressing as this study is, it doesn’t have to be true.

By being mindful of your diet and staying active throughout the season you can keep yourself from being another holiday statistic.

This time of year as the weather begins to cool and the days shorten it may become harder to keep up your routine and easier to turn into a couch potato.  We’ve been fortunate to have a mild and lengthy autumn, get out there and make the most of it!

Get Outdoors: We have countless walking paths, nature trails and biking routes to enjoy.  You can also enjoy some nature preserves like 1000 Islands in Kaukauna, Mosquito Hill outside of New London, or Gordon Bubolz in Appleton just to name a few.

fall foilage

Sign-up for an Event: There’s the Turkey Trot, Appleton is hosting a fat tire biking event, and there is an Ugly Sweater Run/Walk coming up in Manitowoc.  These are just three of several upcoming events.  I found these by utilizing Facebook Events and searching the Sports and Fitness category.  You can go there to find out more about the above mentioned activities or find one of your own.

Make the most of your chores: Maybe ditch the riding lawnmower to rake and bag your leaves by hand.  Get your gardens and flower beds ready for winter.  There are several fall clean-up activities that can help you expend some energy and calories.

Now to the second part of your healthy holiday strategy- diet.

No, you don’t actually need to go on a diet during the holidays.  As if the holidays aren’t stressful enough, who wants to count calories?  That last sentence shouldn’t be interpreted as free license for you to eat what ever you want and worry about it January 1st.  It’s more intended for you to stay on your healthy path regardless of the time of year.

Try keeping your regular schedule- Some people like to skip lunch or fast all day because they know they’re going to a party or family get together with all the trimmings.  What happens when you get there?  You’ve been starving yourself all day and then over eat on the first appetizer you see or throw portion control out the window because you tell yourself, “it’s okay, it’s my only meal today”.

Ask yourself, would you be eating this is it weren’t the holidays?  halloween candy

We are constantly surrounded by temptations,  just after Halloween can be the worst. When else is there a large supply of candy sitting around your house?  Either you over bought for the tricker treaters or your kids are picky about some the candy they received, regardless the temptation is there.

Often this time of year brings several gifts in the forms of cheese and sausage baskets, tins filled candy, plates of cookies.  Several of us have break rooms that are a constant source of empty calories.  You again have to ask yourself, “if this wasn’t here, would I normally be eating a giant pretzel rod dipped in caramel, peanut butter and chocolate as an afternoon snack?”  Probably not.

Of course there’s some wiggle room.  Toast that glass of egg nog or have seconds on the sweet potatoes.  Enjoy your favorites in moderation.  Chances are this is the only time of year some of these treats come your way.  It’s about savoring some of your favorite things, not sampling everything that gets dipped in chocolate and put in front of you.

Bottom line is if you keep active and stay the course, you won’t need to worry about New Year’s resolutions and having to wait until nest summer to lose those pesky pounds.