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Enjoying A Heart Healthy Holiday Season

7 months, 4 weeks ago

5778  0
Posted on Nov 23, 2023, 1 p.m.

The Holiday Season is a time of celebration for many people; however, many people take this time to do things in excess. For people trying to maintain their health journeys, holiday eating can be pretty tough to navigate, and some are wondering if they can resist the temptation to indulge, stay within reason, or stick fast to their plans to achieve their goals. 

Contrary to popular opinion, it is okay to let things slide here and there. As long as you don’t go completely well overboard it is unlikely that one meal will be detrimental to your health or weight loss routine. But for many this one day can turn into two, and two can turn into a few more, and before long the healthy routine is forgotten as those old less healthful habits return. 

It is fine to enjoy some of your favorite foods during the holidays and keep yourself on track, you just need to be mindful of what you are doing and not go overboard. Being healthy is not about depriving yourself, you can indulge in moderation and enjoy without ruining your routine. 

It might help to start the day off with a nice breakfast, don’t fall for the skip breakfast to save room or for reducing overall caloric intake tricks. The numbers will generally work out the same, or you may even end up eating more than you would have if you had not skipped meals throughout the day. Starting your day off with breakfast helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels throughout the day, as will eating lunch. When the food comes out of the oven if you have previously eaten during the day, you won’t feel the need to overeat because you made yourself go hungry. 

Holiday meals are typically carb-heavy, with all that yummy mac and cheese, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls. But there is generally an assortment of vegetables on the table too, don’t forget to load up on some corn, carrots, squash, or green beans too. Eating more vegetables has been shown to help improve health outcomes. Keep in mind that the more veggies that you eat the more fiber you get which will help to reduce the effects the other carb-heavy items will have on your blood sugar levels. Additionally, all that fiber will help ease digestion and increase your satiety to make you feel full for longer. 

Water is just as important during the holidays as it is at any other time. Holiday dinners usually come with wine, teas, sodas, lemonades, coffee, punch, and an assortment of ciders, but these drinks are typically loaded with added sugars that provide little nourishment or nutritional benefits. If you are planning to go carb-heavy on your meal, adding even more with these sweetened drinks may not be in your best interest, so make sure that you drink some water. As an added benefit multiple glasses of water can help you to feel full and may assist you if you have concerns about overeating

Holidays are meant to be happy but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be experiencing stress or anxiety. In general, every holiday can induce a lot of stress and anxiety, but you don’t need to let it get the better of you. Remember that it is okay to indulge in your holiday favorite foods, just be mindful about it. Maybe you don’t get to exercise as much today as you would like, but that is also ok. The holidays are about spending time with your friends and family around great meals. It is meant to be a fulfilling experience even for those making lifestyle changes or weight loss journeys. Treat yourself and enjoy today, because you never know what tomorrow may hold. 

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As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

Content may be edited for style and length.

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T.W. at WHN

Note: Made a grammatical correction and add the forum paragraph on 11/24/2023

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