It can be difficult to stay healthy and in shape during the holidays, special events, or while on vacation, what with the plethora of food and beverage choices and the general laid back atmosphere the season can bring.
Thankfully, the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC) have provided some key tips in handling such events. The following information has been listed in the CDC's Lifestyle Coach Facilitation Guide: Post-Core.
Anticipate the event
- Think about what foods and drinks will be served and if you can make special requests (i.e., salad dressing on the side, club soda with lime to drink, a lean meat or vegetarian item).
- Plan out how you will spend your fat grams and calories for the day.
- Think ahead about ways to control your calories during the evening (i.e., drinking lots of water, limiting appetizers and desserts, etc.).
- Focus on the non-eating aspects of the event that you enjoy.
Plan pleasures other than food or drink
- Plan the kind of holiday, vacation, or special event that you want, and make it healthy!
- Think about what you can do to stay active. Can you make physical activity a part of your holiday, vacation, or special event? A morning or evening walk, swimming laps, or dancing could easily fit the bill.
Hold a family meeting ahead of time
- How will we handle food and eating out?
- Can we find a fun way to all be physically active this year?
- Ask your family to agree to encourage you to eat healthy and be physically active.
- Talk about other ways your family can help you maintain your goals.
Set reasonable expectations
- Continue to keep track of your eating and physical activity.
- Plan to maintain your weight - it may not be realistic to expect to lose weight.
- Let go a little. Eat something special - choose the best, and have a small portion.
Decide what to do about alcohol
- Drinking alcohol may lower self-control, making you more likely to eat and drink beyond what you otherwise would.
- If you drink, be aware of the calories you are consuming.
Build in ways to be active
- Be a little more active with any extra time you have.
- Park further away and walk when doing holiday errands or sight-seeing.
- Look for seasonal ways to be active that can become traditions, such as visiting parks, window shopping at a brisk pace, or even sledding.