Health tips to beat the holiday buldge

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Oh the temptations (Photo by norwichnuts via Flickr).

Oh the temptations (Photo by norwichnuts via Flickr).

It’s very common for people to set aside their diet rules through the holiday season. The temptations are too great and who wants to be sitting nibbling on celery when everyone else is enjoying delicious buttery cookies, peppermint mochas and chocolate Santas? While it may be hard to avoid indulging, here are some easy tips to help stay in the ballpark of a diet.

Keep moving, even after the meal

After big family meals during the holidays, many people want to find the closest couch or comfy chair and go into a cozy holiday coma. We all know home cooking can be tempting, especially during the holidays. If we’re going to feast we shouldn’t let it pull down our entire evening.  Now this doesn’t mean pulling out the Bowflex in the middle of the living room and busting out a session. Just moving around will keep the sleepy feeling from taking over: grab drinks for everyone, help clear the table, walk around and mingle, toss a ball around with relatives, anything to avoid taking a nap.

Snacking may not be such a bad thing

With all the holiday trays that are normally laid out during parties it’s almost subconscious the way people can snack. A little bit here, a little bit there may seem harmless. In fact, it might be helpful. Many people will hold off eating all day in order to gorge on a glorious family meal. Have you ever walked through a grocery store hungry? You end up buying twice as much food as you would normally get, right? The same goes for starving all day then eating. You’ll end up eating twice as many calories as you normally would. By snacking smart all day, your stomach won’t be craving all the food on the table when dinner is ready. Remember, snack smart. Stay away from sweets and look for nuts, fruits and veggies to keep cravings down all day.

Emptystomachs love sweets (Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr).

Emptystomachs love sweets (Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr).

Avoid sugars on an empty stomach

Eating sugars on an empty stomach can show up on the hips later. On an empty stomach, sweets and candy can be like Pringles; you can’t eat just one. The problem is that sugar doesn’t give the body that ‘full’ feeling, allowing the subconscious mind to consume more than it normally would eat. As yummy as cookies, cakes, mini Snickers, and candy canes look they can be disastrous for anyone trying to maintain their weight through the holidays.

Control the intake of alcohol

Keep to one or two glasses (Photo by Kyle May via Flickr).

Keep to one or two glasses (Photo by Kyle May via Flickr).

Alcohol can make everyone good-looking, but it messes with self-control. Those who have sat in a Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru at 2 a.m. after hitting the bars and clubs will know what I am talking about.  Now imagine the same hungry feeling, but instead of a drive-thru menu to choose from, you have some of the best homemade food in front of you.  It will end with two or three cleared plates and pumpkin pie breath. Let’s not go there. Plus since alcohol is a toxin, the body will want to get rid of it before digesting food, which means food will sit in the stomach longer and the body can store it as fat. Glasses of wine or Bailey’s peppermint hot chocolate (my favorite) can be tasty during the holidays, just watch the servings.

Keep the belly that jiggles like a bowl full of jelly to old Saint Nick.  When January comes around and it’s time to set a new year’s resolution, it will be nice to only lose 20 pounds instead of 40. Look great, have fun, and maintain control when the cookie tray is passed around.


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