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How to stay healthy during the holidays - 3 simple strategies, and many practical bold tips

Friday, December 20, 2013

I asked for your feedback on how you tackle the holiday challenges in my last blog, in regard to our healthy lifestyle.
I was surprised, as I got so many great answers!
Thank you a lot! I put many of these into practice already!

However, I thought that all of us could benefit from your responses, so I made a summary of your tips.

Chirstmas, New Year, family, parties, holidays. Nice meals with lots of food, cold weather (in the Northern hemisphere), lots of sitting talking to friends and watching the TV.
How to stay healthy?
This is how you can do it: three easy strategies for overall, exercise and nutrition, and then many practical tips.

PLAN AHEAD
In general, it is a good strategy to plan ahead on what is coming.
Set boundaries, by marking days to be different. There are some special days that need more focus, and days which are closer to business as usual. It also means after the last day of the holiday period is over, get back to the healthy routine immediately.
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EAT HAPPY
If the holiday meals with others show up rather as a challenger for our willpower, it is a good strategy to approach these with the spirit 'I will enjoy them'. Maybe set some boundaries of how much we eat, but overall we approach it by enjoying it. Anyway, this is a time to be happy.
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GO ACTIVE
Exercise is good to be planned ahead, what when and how.
The main idea is that doing "lots of exercise and eating a lot" vs. "zero exercise and eating a lot" are really not the same. Move more, and you will have more room to enjoy food.
Inside or outside, have options for alternatives when our regular exercise routines cannot be made.
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And here are all the tips from you:

A) OVERALL TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
1. Plan (Tqpeach, Rosewand)

2. Assess menu choices, look at exercise schedule, combine all (Tqpeach)

3. Track every day, inlcuding Christmas, which keeps focused for larger goals (Rosewand)

4. Review tracking from past year, and plan ahead with same menu as target this year (Rosewand)

5. Accept that going to gain a few pounds over the holidays (Tinajane76)

6. Enjoy few important days (Tinajane76)

7. Get back on track as fast as possible (Tinajane76)

8. Track it (Nickycrane)

9. Aim to get to same weight at end of January as before Christmas (Nickycrane)

10. Set a definitive time limit for how many days I was taking off for Bad Behaviour. Not going past my limit however, and enjoyed my time off. (Juliamoonchild)

11. Went right back to my dedicated to being healthy lifestyle afterwards (Juliamoonchild)

12. Not to stress much over calories. Indulge in small amount. Stick to everything in moderation. (Kelliebean)

13. Deal with holidays One Day At A Time. Live days, not seasons. (Nelljones)

14. Stay on track with food and exercise, because nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. (Tortise110)


B) EXERCISE TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
1. Take leisure walks whenever possible (Gal7288)

2. Games in the parties, relay racing, softball (Gal7288)

3. Keep exercise routine as much as possible (Lkg9999)

4. Move exercise inside if too cold/snowy outside (Lkg9999)

5. Help out a lot and keep my hands busy (Lkg9999)

6. Take workouts inside, swimming, exercise DVDs (Shoopette)

7. Stay active with spark videos and elliptical (Kelliebean)

8. Make my visits active. (Tortise110)

9. I am very active and so the holidays are not too bad. (Dmeyer4)



C) NUTRITION TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
1. Look at all the options, choose 1-2 options that I must have, take those, enjoy them, forget the rest and not to worry so much, as a special meal with family and friends is a special meal anyway. (Gal7288)

2. Limit indulgences in a few special meals, not let them carry over into following meals and days (Tinajane76)

3. Ask for knife and cut myself a small portion (Nickycrane)

4. Take doggy box around with me when going to families with whom relaxed relationship (Nickycrane)

5. Save calorific stuff for days when I have calories in hand (Nickycrane)

6. Cut back in calories starting in October to allow for extra eating in December (Rosewand)

7. Enjoy special foods I love in moderation throughout the season happily returning to my normal eating patterns in January (Rosewand)

8. Pick and choose which days/events I can indulge in some holiday treats. Few special days helps keep me from ad-hoc snacking and treat overload. (Lkg9999)

9. Bring over my own healthy food to have healthy drink and side-dish options (Lkg9999)

10. Only 1-2 tastes of non-healthy appetizer (Lkg9999)

11. Cook the Christmas dinner myself, so I can cook less and we don't overeat (Shoopette)

12. Healthy substitutions in preparations (Dustyprairie)

13. Doing my best to hold my own when goodies are thrust at me (Trotise110)


This is in Vienna, near the cityhall, a tree full of hearts!




I believe that choosing only one of the above tips, and having it in mind, makes a real difference. So if you have reached this part, I recommend to scroll up, and choose one tip that you like, and make a commitment to experiment with it during the holidays.
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