Healthy Tips To Get You Through the Holiday Season

With the holidays coming up, we’re already starting to see sugar and spice and everything nice everywhere. From Halloween candy to Thanksgiving pies to Christmas cookies and everything in between, we’re doomed until January. Or, are we?HolidayHealthyTipsExcess sugar can lead to excess calories (which can lead to those unwanted holiday pounds so many of us get) as well as inflammation and other long term health effects. If there’s one thing that coincides with sweets during the holidays, is that it’s also “cold and flu season”. Well guess what? A body full of inflammation won’t fight off that cold or flu as well.

But Jamila, I can’t give up my holiday sweets!”

Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to. Some sugar in the diet is okay.  You don’t need to completely eliminate it. But, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the chances of sugar overload during the holiday season and still enjoy your candy, pie and cookies.

The recommended limit on added sugars in a day varies depending on who you ask. Who really wants to track that? And who has time? Not me! Instead, follow my top 5 tips to get you through the holidays. Hopefully, we’ll also instill some good habits into next year so you won’t turn into another New Year’s resolution statistic.

Tip#1 – Eat fruit to satisfy a sweet tooth

  • The sugars in fruit don’t count as “added” sugars. plus, these pack a nutritional punch since they are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. stick to the whole fruit, no juices here! This is a much better option when your sweet tooth kicks in. Not to mention, when you do indulge in a sweet treat you’ll enjoy it that much more!

Tip#2 – Stick to zero calorie unsweetened beverages

  • Water, water, water. Tea and coffee are okay too, but limit or avoid the add-ins! Splash in a bit of cream or milk to coffee. Add some fruit and herbs to water and tea. Squeeze some lemon or lime into club soda for a refreshing sparkling treat.

Tip#3 – Let yourself indulge (within reason)

  • If skipping a treat means you’ll eat 10 of it later, don’t skip it in the first place. Let yourself have 1 small treat – a bite size candy bar, 2 small cookies, or a cake pop. If you want something bigger like a piece of pie or cake, make it a small slice and skip the sweet treat tomorrow.

Tip#4 – If you want to follow tip#3, you must follow tip#4

  • Get out and MOVE! Bump up the exercise. You can run, lift weights, go for a bike ride, or take a class but also think outside of the box. Depending on the season (and where you live), go rake leaves or shovel snow, go skiing or swimming… I’ll even venture to say it, shopping counts (though I wouldn’t suggest making this your only source of exercise… only your wallet will get thinner)

Tip#5 – Keep the treats out of sight.

  • We all know the phrase – out of sight, out of mind. It’s true for food too. Your first option is to simply keep threats out of the house altogether You’ll come into contact with enough of these things at work and social gatherings. In which case, I’ll refer you back to tip #3. But for many people, this isn’t an option. Particularly if you have children or are the person making all of the treats for everyone. Here are my tips for each holiday…
  • Halloween Candy: Get rid of the stuff you don’t absolutely love. don’t eat candy just to eat candy. put all of the candy into the freezer (yes, even the kiddo’s candy for those of you who have them). Take one out at a time. You have to wait a few minutes for it to thaw so you’re less likely to eat a whole handful.
  • Thanksgiving Pie: Slice each slice in half and again, freeze. Take out a half piece when you’re craving something sweet. That way, you don’t eat half of the pie (I’m looking at you.. you know who you are)
  • Christmas Cookies: If you’re the person who makes cookies for everyone each year, then make them, box them, and forget them. Have leftovers? No problem. Freeze. … are you noticing a theme here?

What are your healthy holiday tips ? Share below!

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