Don't Diet: Because food temptations abound during the holidays, it is not the time to deprive yourself. It's difficult to say I'm not going to have that or I'm not going to have this, especially when you're at a party, explained RN Rose Hosler. She suggests changing your mind set from “deprivation” to “moderation.” “Just watch your portions and let go of it,” she said.
Be Mindful: Take note of what you're eating. This is the time of year when people put out trays of food at parties and work. People pass by these foods and take one. Then they pass by again and take another. Then they go off to work and do the same thing. These empty-calorie foods add up, warned Hosler. If you have one or two holiday parties throughout a month and have a piece of cheesecake at each, that's OK, she said. However, if you're eating two pieces at a party and then two at work, before you know it, you've eaten three or four servings of empty calories in a week. “And then people think 'how did that weight creep up on me?'”
Red Over White: When it comes to the holiday drinks, choose red wine. It's the better choice because it contains the compound antioxidant resveratrol extracted from the grapes red skin. The suggested drink minimum—to keep weight in check—is 10 ounces or two glasses for men, and five ounces or one glass of wine for women.
Curb the Crave: Incorporate foods that fill you up without spiking blood sugar. Hosler suggested foods high in fiber and protein. That includes nuts like almonds or pistachios or pumpkin seeds. Eat these before or at a party. “Take a handful with you and munch on them anytime of day, as opposed to snacking on pastries or soda,” she said.
Keep Moving: “Get those steps in,” she said. “Get that burst of energy.” Beside the endorphin raising, blood pressure stabilizing and relaxing benefits of walking, it also curbs cravings and keeps weight down. Walking is important, said Hosler. People that walk sleep better at night, and incorporating physical activities in your life will help you avoid that second piece of cheesecake. And the best part is you can walk anywhere. “When you're at the mall and shopping, do one extra lap around the mall and walk. Enjoy the sights and sounds. Take the steps, and park far away,” she said.
Read Hillcrest Employee Wellness Coordinator and RN, Rose Hosler's tips centered on mind and spirit for a complete guide to well-being this holiday.