By Jeremy Ray, Fitness Center Coordinator, Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock
Although this time of year is exciting, it still presents its own unique set of challenges, especially when we’re talking about diet. I don’t particularly like the word “diet,” but I know that it gets people’s attention.
If you struggle with the social scene and family gatherings with all that good food and those high-calorie beverages that could wreck your progress, then I’m here to offer some help. Here are a few simple but effective tips to get you through the next month.
Avoid arriving “hangry” to a holiday dinner or lunch. At that point, your ability to make good decisions becomes impossible. You’ll eat everything in sight. Instead, eat your normally timed meal or something light a few hours beforehand to curb the cravings.
Drinking water in between servings of food or alcoholic beverages can give you a sense of feeling full and can minimize your intake of calories and sugar. In fact, just being dehydrated can give you a sense of feeling hungry.
Tips 1 & 2 will give you the willpower to indulge smartly. No one wants to feel left out during the holidays. You can still try the good stuff, just manage the portions and/or choose dishes with fewer calories or less sugar. Choosing to use a smaller plate will assist in portion control.
If you can squeeze in your normal workout or a shortened version that’s great, but if it’s too hectic, just take a short walk or play in the yard with the kids. The goal is to just avoid being a slug on the couch. You know what I mean. You’ll feel better both mentally and physically.
If you choose at least one of the first three tips and make sure you get up and move a little during those holiday gatherings, then you can bet you’ll feel better. Plus, your pants won’t be so tight come January.