From baked meats to popular desserts, Christmas is a notorious time for splurging. Few consider health when they celebrate. Then January 1st comes and everybody starts worrying. All around you, there’s dull skin, dry hair, under-eye bags, and suspicious, ham-shaped potbellies. Good news: you don’t have to deal with that if you don’t want to! You can still enjoy the holidays in a totally positive way. Get a head-start on your 2018 health goals by following these six foolproof tips.

1. Replace, don’t deprive. If someone invites you to a potluck, bring a scrumptious, nutritious dish. A meaty salad, grilled veggie kebabs, or even a fruit platter can work. Whatever you bring, make sure that there’s at least one healthy option for you. This way, you won’t have to snub the office party or dine all alone at those endless family gatherings.

2. Keep it moving — sticking with your normal exercise routine can be tough. But, your future self will thank you for making it a priority to exercise anyway, so do it. Exercise helps you with your goals and reduces your appetite for junk food.

  • Christmas shopping is an excellent way to get your heart pumping if you don’t have time to hit the gym. Get your extra steps in by parking as far away from the mall as you can.
  • Do some bodyweight exercises by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Skip the store help: take your groceries to the car yourself (bonus points for making it in one trip).

3. Portion size trumps exercise — and by that, we mean that you can’t outrun a horrible diet.

  • Use smaller plates and serving utensils, which will make your meal seem larger. Easy on the eyes… and the waistline!
  • Did you know that blue plates and flatware can reduce your appetite? It’s true!
  • Eat your meals with a teaspoon or a dessert fork. Lots of hand-to-mouth motions make you feel like you are eating more food.
  • Chew at least ten times per mouthful. It makes you take your time, giving your brain a chance let you know that you’re full.
  • Pour your drinks into tall, skinny glasses and ditch the fat, wide cups.

4. Watch that alcohol intake. Alcohol consumption can raise your triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood that your body uses for energy, by the way. A moderate level of triglycerides is healthy, but when it gets high, it raises your risk of heart disease.

  • Alcohol increases the amount of insulin you secrete, and your blood sugar to drop. Low blood sugar can cause a host of other problems. Never drink on an empty stomach.
  • If you must partake in a toast, drink some non-alcoholic drinks first, so thirst won’t make you overdo it on the booze.

5. Get enough fruit servings with the if/then method. Yes, we know: if you could eat an apple every time you hear this, you wouldn’t need to hear this. But we would be irresponsible if we didn’t mention it again. We’re not saying that you can’t have junk, but don’t allow yourself to eat anything unhealthy unless you eat a fruit first. That way, you will not overindulge since there’s some fibrous food in your stomach.

6. Supplement and Substitute. Shopping, traffic, crowded malls and stress can all cause your immune system to weaken. Plus, hectic days sap your willpower. Weak will leads to poor food choices. What’s the point of working so hard to end up sick on Christmas Day? Prevent it by investing in an affordable multivitamin so you can meet your body’s needs… regardless of what you do or don’t eat.

Staying healthy doesn’t have to be difficult, and these six simple hacks prove it. Try them and we guarantee that you won’t have to avoid what you love the most about Christmas. Remember that your health is up to you and no matter what life brings, you can thrive! 

 

 

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