That’s the biggest culprit for holiday weight gain? You might think it’s all the tempting desserts and elaborate dishes, but stress plays a big role too.
How can you make sure you start the New Year on a healthy note? Focus on reducing holiday stress, and it will be clear sailing on January 1.
Set realistic expectations. A holiday task list that runs over with “should do’s” may only set you up for an anxiety-filled season. Focus on meaningful activities, and eliminate traditions you can live without. For instance, if you dislike baking, skip the cookies this year. Your waistline will thank you.
Eat healthy. You’ll have more energy by making healthy eating choices. Keep fruits and veggies on hand for healthy snacks. Heading out to a holiday party? Have something light to eat before you go. Those holiday delicacies will be less tempting.
Exercise. Physical activity not only helps keep off those unwanted pounds, but also it’s a great way to reduce stress. Involve the whole family to make new holiday memories by doing something active together. Go sledding, crank up your favorite holiday music and dance, or take a stroll around your neighborhood to admire the lights and decorations.
Get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep and stress can increase your production of cortisol, a hormone linked to increased fat storage. Skipping your z’s also can increase your cravings for sugary foods—just one more reason to make sure you’re getting eight hours of sleep a night.