Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holidays Without Regret: Making Healthy Choices

At the top of most New Year's resolutions list every year is lose weight and get fit. Which should not be surprising as New Year's Day follows hot on the heels of at least a month of holiday eating.

How can you get through the next 2 plus weeks without regret? How can you reach New Year's Day without feeling like a blimp? What can you do to maintain the good and healthy habits you put in place earlier this year?

1. Sleep. It has been proven that good eating and the ability to make good choices tank when you are tired. If your golden sleep number is 8 hours, try to be regular getting 8-even in this crazy season.

2. Drink water. This is key. Water fills you up and flushes you out. Drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day is a great habit to have. But, when the temps drop, so does our water intake. Drinking water=cold=make us colder. Which is totally not desired. Try drinking slightly lukewarm water. And drink tea. Hot tea without sweetener or cream is the same as drinking water. Oh, and at parties, just carry a glass of water with you-everywhere. It keeps your hands busy and  gives you something to sip slowly.

3. Exercise. December is traditionally our rest month before beginning spring training. But exercise gets those happy endorphins flowing, which makes everything seem a bit better. Even if I am not doing my regular routine, I am doing something. I am being proactive, and it is good-for my outlook and my body. Take time to walk or sled or ice skate. Seasonal activities that are exercise in disguise.

4. Eat healthy. When you are attending or hosting a party, pile your plate high with the vegetables and fruit. Look for the low fat, low sugar, low _____ options. Plan ahead what you will and won't eat. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Very apropos.

5. Moderation. There is nothing wrong with occasionally eating unhealthy food. Food that isn't on your diet plan. Have a tiny slice of pie. Eat one cookie or one serving of crackers. Not a sleeve of crackers or a whole plate of cookies. Indulge moderately. Moderation is sustainable for a lifetime.

6. If you blow it, or have an unfortunate incident with an appetizer or dessert, forgive yourself. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start over again. One bad choice, or a day's worth of bad choices, or even a week's or month's worth, does not a failure make. Start again right now. Choose good this time.

What actions have you taken to finish up 2013 in a healthy manner?