The holidays sometimes comes disguised as an excuse to eat unhealthy wrapped in a big fat “you’re going to gain weight” bow. Even though many may use a special holiday as an excuse to throw healthy habits out the window, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can maintain your healthy lifestyle and enjoy the holidays at the same time.

Stay active

Even if you don’t stick to your gym routine, you should still try to have some activity at least four days of the week. Go for a walk outside or take your friends ice skating in the winter. It doesn’t matter what activity you choose, just be active.

Do your best to stay healthy

Since the holidays coincide with cold and flu season, it’s important to get your flu shot if you’re able to. Prevent illnesses by washing your hands often, keeping surfaces clean at home and getting enough rest each night so your immune system has a fighting chance.

Choose your foods carefully

When you see the large dinner spread, you may be tempted to pile on a little of this and little of that on your plate. Before you know it, you’re going back for seconds and you’ve eaten entirely too much. Instead of getting a taste of everything, choose your favorite foods. You know, the ones that you dream about every year.

Stay hydrated

Be sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated. By staying hydrated, you can keep mucous membranes moist in the dry, winter hair which helps prevent illnesses. To stay hydrated, you need to drink half of your weight in water. By drinking this much water, you will feel full longer and won’t confuse thirst with hunger.

Eat three meals a day

You may be tempted to skip breakfast and/or lunch to save room for the delicious meal that comes with the holidays. Don’t do it. Skipping a meal only leads to hunger and mindless snacking later. Then when that meal finally comes, you will be so hungry that you eat too much, which basically counteracts all of those calories you skipped during the day.

Wear normal fitting clothing

You know how you always hear people saying they are going to wear their fat pants to have breathing room for the meal they are going to consume? Yeah. Don’t do that. By wearing elastic or loose fitting pants and baggy tops, you are just invited your body to overindulge. Wear tighter fitting clothing to reinforce the reminder to eat smart and focus on portion control.

Remember even healthy food has calories

Just because it’s healthy for you doesn’t mean you can eat unlimited amounts of it. Even your healthiest vegetable has calories. Especially when you had in ingredients such as cream, sugar or milk to make them into a tasty side dish.

Be positive

If you are used to having healthier habits and indulge a little on the holidays, you may feel guilty. The problem is the guilt can lead to emotional eating and further indulging. Make good choices and allow yourself to indulge a little bit without feeling bad about it.

These are just some of the tips you can use to help you keep your health priorities in tact over the holiday season. Do your best to be mindful and enjoy the food and the time with family because holidays don’t happen every day.

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