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5 Tips to Stay on Track for the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays can also be the most challenging time  of the year for sticking to our health and wellness goals. Family gatherings, extravagant meals and busy schedules can lead to poor choices and the ensuing guilt that often follows. It is possible to maintain health during the holidays. Here’s 5 tips to help you stay on track and enjoy the holiday season.

1) Educate Yourself– The more educated you are on the content of food, the better your ability to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy choices. Our holiday tables present a wide variety of food choices. Armed with knowledge, you can choose which foods you should eat and which ones you should skip.

2) Drink Plenty of Water and Avoid or Limit Alcohol – Dehydration can lead to a number of poor health issues and choices. Stay well hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Alcoholic beverages can contribute to dehydration and reduce your inhibitions making you more susceptible to unhealthy choices. Most alcoholic beverages are mixed with unwanted sugars causing you to crave the very things you want to avoid. Choose your alcohol wisely and if you choose to partake, stick to only a drink or two.

Here’s a guide to healthy holiday drinking:

3) Make Healthy Substitutions– Consider substituting some of the ingredients in your holiday recipes for something that will help keep you in line with your goals. Trade the potatoes for mashed cauliflower or sugar for stevia in your baked sweets.

Here’s a great resource for healthy alternatives to the traditional holiday meal:

4) Stay Active– Look for new and exciting opportunities to make movement a family affair. Find a new trail to hike or sign up to run or walk a 5k. A simple walk before dinner can provide quality family time and get you moving in the right direction. 

5) Don’t Expect Perfection– The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. Workouts sometimes get missed and you might have that piece of your Aunts famous fudge. It’s OK! 80/20..If you are making healthy food choices and maintaining a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time, the missed workout or occasional holiday indulgence is not going to ruin your progress. Leave the guilt at the door and move on to the next best healthy choice or activity.