Despite the best of intentions the holidays can wreak havoc on your health. Between the stress of shopping and entertaining and the tendency to overindulge at holiday parties, even the most disciplined of us can fall into unhealthy habits before the New Year. Here are a few of the most common health pitfalls and easy ways to avoid them.
Beware of veggy casseroles
You make think that you are eating healthy when you tuck into a plate of green bean casserole or creamed spinach but these seemingly harmless dishes are full of butter, cream and salt and can contain up to 800 calories per serving. Opt for roasted or steamed veggies to keep your diet on track.
Always cook and reheat foods to a safe temperature
When in a rush to get a holiday meal on the table there’s the urge to eyeball when your roast or turkey is done.Visual cues can often times be misleading when it comes to making sure that meat and poultry are fully cooked so be sure to use a meat thermometer to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.
Snack before a holiday party
When headed to a holiday party always grab a healthy snack before you go. Arriving at a party hungry makes you far more likely to overindulge on heavy appetizers like cheese and dips. A handful of almonds before you leave will help keep you appetite in check.
Modify your exercise routine
You make think you need to keep your same exercise schedule during the holidays but with the added pressure of shopping and entertaining, hour long sessions at the gym may not be practical and can leave you wornout. Instead shoot for small amounts of exercise throughout the day, you’ll burn the same calories without burning yourself out.
Leave yourself time to sleep
With all the added stress of the holidays and their demand on your time its easy to start giving up your hours of sleep. Staying up late to finish wrapping gifts may seem like a good idea but lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, a weak immune system and put a damper on your holiday spirit so be sure that you still get 7-8 hours of shut eye every night.