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Ten ways to indulge and stay healthy this holiday season


Before the holidays ruin your wellness plan and make you turn as green as the Grinch, try these 10 ways to help you stay on track and keep your festive spirit.

Often we feel if we can’t stick to our regular routine, then why bother? As researchers in nutrition and physical activity behaviours, we know that maintaining wellness over the holidays is easier than starting over again in the new year.

Going into the holidays with a plan to overcome adversity (think dessert tray!) is more effective than no plan at all. Indulge, a little, while still feeling good about yourself.

1. To start, cut yourself some slack!

Exercisers who show self-compassion after an interrupted routine do better at getting back on track with their exercise goals. If you over-indulge at a holiday party, give yourself a break, and plan to regain control the next day.

Interspersing alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks can be a strategy to avoid overconsumption.
(Shutterstock)

2. Plan (and make a backup plan)

Planning is key to healthy eating and staying active. If the great outdoors inspire you, plan a few outdoor activities each week, but have a few indoor activities as a backup should Mother Nature have plans of her own.

If numerous parties threaten to derail your healthy eating habits, plan on a small, protein-rich snack before heading out. It may seem silly to eat before, but a pre-party snack will keep you satisfied and less likely to overeat when you’re there.

3. Choose wisely at the food table

Using a small-sized plate for snacks may actually trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more and leave you feeling fuller compared to using a large plate.