The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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Season Of Gaining: How to Counter Your Unhealthy Habits Over The Holidays
By Hannah Wittenly

Amidst the yearly barrage of cookies, pies and never ending platters of deliciousness, it can be difficult to maintain healthy habits during the holidays. Here are five simple ways to overcome unhealthy tendencies this holiday season.

Take Your Vitamins
The stress of the holidays and a tendency to overindulge can easily to throw your nutrition out of whack. This can lead you to eat more in a subconscious attempt to induce a sugar rush. Dietary imbalances can also make you susceptible to illness. Make sure to take your whole food vitamins so that your body gets exactly what it needs.

Battle Your Inner Couch Potato
In this hyper connected world, we are often so busy at our computers that we forget to move. The weather can also be rather cold at this time of year, which might make you less likely to go outside. However, there are so many fun things for you to do outside that can help keep you active. Aim for at least 15 minutes of movement every day. Some outdoor activities that you might enjoy are snowshoeing, ice skating, and sledding. Yes, sledding may seem like an effortless downhill activity, but it takes a lot of work to climb back up the hill. If the outdoors aren't your speed, there are plenty of ways you can stay active indoors. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a walk on your lunch break, or try a short yoga sequence.



Save the Junk Food for Special Occasions
There are so many baked goods floating around right now. Replace all of your processed snacks with healthy options like almonds or fresh fruits and veggies. Before you go to the big holiday party, eat a quick snack from your healthy food stash. You'll be less hungry at the party and less likely to overindulge on that tray of peanut butter fudge. Another thing that you could do in a situation like this, though, would be to volunteer to bring the healthy snack . Who knows, strawberry Santas and fruit kabobs just might be a big hit!

Get Your Beauty Sleep
When you don't get enough sleep, you may be more likely to overindulge. According to WebMD , a lack of sleep hinders your ability to make good decisions about the food you are eating and primes you to make poor diet and exercise choices. Although a lot of holiday events happen late at night, make sure that you give yourself a curfew-perhaps 10:30pm. This way, you can stick to a regular sleeping pattern no matter what. Of course, you might have to skip a night doing this when New Year’s comes around.

Exercise Moderation
You can be healthy and enjoy the feasts and goodies. If you attempt a full ban on holiday cookies, then you might make yourself miserable and like your being left out. In fact, you'll probably make it up in calories consumed later. Participate in the feasts, but instead of heaping your plate, take smaller portions and eat mindfully. Commit yourself beforehand to not go back for seconds. Because there are always a ton of sides at holiday meals, it would be a wise idea to make sure that for every unhealthy side that ends up on your plate that there is another healthy one so that you can counter balance it out just a bit.

At the season's end, we're often left with ill-fitting clothing, fussy digestion, and a fresh onslaught of self-loathing. Let this be the year where you end the holiday season on a positive note, feeling good and full of self-mastery.

About The Author:
Hannah Whittenly is a Mom, freelance writer & Sacramento, CA native. Follow her on Twitter @hannahwhittenly




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