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Jumpstart Your Health For The Upcoming Holiday Season

Written by Mindy White

Photography by Photographed by James Kicinski-McCoy

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful season, but they can be a unhealthy one for your waistline. On average, people gain anywhere from 1 to 10 pounds over the holiday season, which isn’t terrible, but the biggest concern is that most people don’t lose the weight they put on during the festivities. From turkey and mashed potatoes to pies and cakes, there’s more than enough temptation to go around. Not to mention, no ones really looking forward to going on a run or hitting the gym after two plates of Christmas dinner. That’s why we decided to round up some tips to help you jumpstart your health and stay on track this season.

Drink Up. We know you’re sick of hearing it, but the true key to good health is keeping up with your water intake. A dehydrated body can’t function properly, much less maintain a healthy, ideal weight. If you’re always on-the-go and struggle to get your daily recommended H20, keep a water container on you all day and refill it every time you finish. Carbonated water is a great alternative for those who can’t say goodbye to sodas, but watch out for drinking too many, which can lead to kidney stones (no, thank you!).

Detox. Believe it or not, detoxing is not just for pre-spring break. When your body is loaded with toxins, you actually crave bad-for-you foods. A detox is a great idea right before the sinful season to help you rid your body of toxins, both physically and mentally. Many people suffer from lower mood levels in the colder months, so a detox is a great way to restart and prepare us for the tantalizing season. And let’s be real here, everyone needs to “serenity now” their bodies to prep for those awkward extended-family conversations at dinner.

Get Your Vitamins. Your body has to have proper nourishment in order to keep feeling and looking good! Do so by supplementing daily with essentials vitamins (which we rounded up here!). These vitamins and minerals help the body run and can help keep your skin clear, your body feeling well, and keep you at (or get you back to) your ideal weight.

Choose Wisely. We’re not saying to not have stuffing or apple crumble, just be selective on what you’re indulging with. When it comes to fall and winter parties, holiday dinners, and seasonal snacks or candies, be choosey on what you splurge on. Instead of having 3 different desserts, pick one, and fill up on healthier options beforehand. Go bigger on steamed veggies and smaller on the green bean casserole. Another tip is to use a smaller plate when eating holiday dinners so you don’t overeat.

Cut The Fluff. When treating yourself to some goodies, don’t go overboard. Take it easy on the gravy, indulge with just enough apple cider for it to feel like a treat, and maybe skip the whipped cream on top of the pie all together. For the holiday cocktail, try half eggnog and half non-fat milk. And of course, we all love a good peppermint bark or fudge, but limit yourself to a few pieces so you don’t end up mindlessly eating in front of the TV or computer.

Drink Responsibly. Obviously you don’t want to drink too much and end up admitting that you dislike your mother-in-law, but it’s also important to be conscious, so you don’t end up putting back 800 calories in booze alone. The average cocktail has between 140 and 220 calories per glass. Knock back 3-4 of those suckers and you’re halfway to your daily recommended calorie intake.

Stay Active. The way to stay healthy is not to starve yourself or eat like a rabbit, but to eat things in moderation and stay moving. If you have bad knees or simply don’t like to workout, a brisk walk or jog is just as good as hitting the gym. Got some holiday shopping to do? Skip online shopping and hit the stores. You can burn some serious calories while out-and-about playing Santa.

Substitute. If you’re cooking, think about subbing the lard in grandma’s recipe for coconut oil. Instead of whole milk, reach for non-fat or swap out regular potatoes for sweet potatoes. There are minor adjustments you can make with ingredients that will help take a dish from unhealthy to not-so-bad for you. Just be sure to research everything beforehand to make sure that the trades won’t sabotage the recipe.

Shop Smart. Stores will try to entice you to buy 3 pies and 4 bags of candy to save some dough—don’t fall for it. You want to buy the foods everyone loves at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but don’t over do it. You don’t need the extra temptations!

Keep Calm. Stress is a big part of the holidays with all the shopping, cooking, and get-togethers. Try not to let crazy schedules and prepping get to you. Don’t turn to food and candy during stressful times. Keep a clear, open mind in order to keep stress down and spirits high.

Listen Your Body. Your body is constantly giving you signs—headaches, fatigue, stomach pains, etc. Listen to your body and know when to stop eating, when you need water, or when to eat the damn chocolate! Life is short, you have to splurge a little bit.

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