holiday health tips

The holidays season is now here.  We all have events, dinner and cocktail parties coming up. It is not that I am against indulging, a gal has to give in every once in a while and eat that cupcake. Once December starts it is very easy to come up with every excuse not to hit the gym or to eat your weight in cookies or cocktails! We all need a few tips to help us from sabotaging all of the work we put in this past year. Here are a few things that I do during the holidays to keep on track:

Keep your workout routine. I work out 5 days a week immediately after my hubby gets home from work and can take the baby off my hands. My goal will be to try to keep that routine over the next month. Do not steer from your exercise regime just because it is the holidays. If you have a specific routine try to stick to it the best you can. Make fitness one of your main priorities. Not only does it help you keep trim over the holidays, it relieves stress. We all know that the holidays can be one of the most stressful time of the year for a lot of us. Keep doing your workout and you will have somewhere to work that stress out of your system before you hit that family event. Exercise also boosts your metabolism before you eat and drink all of those holiday goodies. If you happen to miss the gym suggest a family walk around the neighborhood after dinner to check out all of the Christmas lights. If you are traveling, like I will be. Find a different routine or make a point to just keep moving!

Calorie Counting and Portion Control. I have mentioned this many times on my blog. I am obsessed with calorie counting and I have been doing it for over 10 years now. I find it the best way to keep my diet in check. I still do it over the holidays and it helps me to not go overboard on the egg nog or snacks. There are so many apps available that you can use on your phone. I like myfitnesspal and I also use my fitbit app. I am so obsessed I count on 2 different apps. Be aware of how much you are putting in your mouth, especially at cocktail parties. Passed hors d’oeuvres can be hard to keep track of. If you chose not to calorie count, practice portion control. Try to make the main items that you eat at any meal vegetables and fruit. I have never been to an event that did not have a vegetable tray or some fruit included at dessert. If you are not sure, offer to bring a tray of fruit or veggies with you.

Plan an event that includes some activity. When making plans with friends for a holiday get together, do not just plan things around eating and drinking. For example here in NYC it is a great time to catch up while checking out the shop windows or go for a walk through Central Park and check out the Christmas Market. Another great idea, go ice skating. Plan an afternoon of skating with some friends. In my family we like to add some dancing to any event. Dancing can burn quite a few calories.

Be careful not to drink all of your calories. There are so many opportunities to drink away your calories over the holidays. Think about it: egg nog, hot chocolate, lattes with whipped cream, open bars and so on and so on. For me it is the large amount of red wine we consume at my in-laws! Make a few substitutions. If you are going to have that latte skip the whipped cream. For every alcohol drink you have add a glass of water into the mix after each drink. Another thing I find that helps is add soda water to your wine and have a wine spritzer! I am not a huge fan of diet soda but in the name of calories, if you are looking for a mixer go with diet soda instead of regular soda or juice. Since I am a calorie counter, I know that you can drink your whole days calories away at one cocktail party. It was much easier for me last year, being pregnant really helped with the whole no drinking thing!

Remember these tips as we head into the holiday season. Do have fun as well, enjoy a glass of wine or two. Just not the whole bottle! What are your plans for keeping healthy over the holidays?