Tips for Staying Healthy at the Holidays

Dr. Joanne Wu from Unity Hospital joined Katrina Irwin on News 8 at Noon.

She has some tips to Keep the Holidays Healthy and Well

1.) Practice gratitude – be thankful for the food in front of you, where it came from and who prepared it for you, as well as
for the lives you have touched and touched yours. Be grateful for the people you share your meals with. If you are not shy, spend time to thank them aloud. You will be amazed the smiles you will see and how much better the food will taste!

2.) Be present – don’t distract yourself. Turn off your phones and your computers. Look at the food and the faces of those around your table. Enjoy their presence as much as they want to enjoy yours. Distraction is the easiest way to overeating.

3.) Exercise compassion – kindness to others always come more naturally, but this tip applies to leaving more time for yourself. “Me” time. In the season of buying gifts, don’t forget to be nice to yourself, so you have more energy to give to others. You can’t give what you don’t have. “Me” time helps you restore.

4.) Eat your breakfast – meal skipping is not advised, especially breakfast. Most people realize by now that skipping a meal is bad, because of the glycemic control of the body. A body is like a fire, it needs to be fed kindling or small wood pieces throughout the day in order for the fire to burn efficiently and that there is no wood leftover at the end of a clean burn. During the holidays, this is really important because many people think if they can “save” their calories for the end of the day, then they can binge. While it is ok to cut back on the portions of the meals before, it can work against you when you go into your holiday meals or cocktail parties eager to stuff whatever it is in front of your face.

5.) Take a pause – going from the mall to a holiday party to home to wrap presents and place under the tree then singing a lullaby to your kids can be a lot without too much time to even breathe. Breathing slows down our heart rates, but it also helps us slow down and think about what we are doing, what we are eating, and reflect on where we are going. It is in
stillness that we can truly enjoy our joy.

6.) Fitness anywhere – trying to get to a gym to workout this time of year can be challenging. Get up from your desk several times a day to grab some water, walk the stairs, and park further away from your destination. Do some deap breathing and stretches for a five min stretch break. Go for a brisk walk around your neighborhood and enjoy the lights with some warm spiced tea hand to promote circulation, anti-inflammation, and natural endorphins.

7.) Learn forgiveness – holding on to negative energy can lead to emotional eating. Take time this holiday to let go and forgive. Whether it is a friend who has wronged you, or you being mad at yourself for eating too much pie, the negative energy can brew and stagnate and lead to less energy overall.

8.) Balance your plate – Choose your plate wisely. Join First Lady Obama and the Department of Agriculture’s campaign to bring awareness to the need to battle obesity in America by making nutrition fun and practical. Learn how to fill your plate with a balanced mixture of fruits, grains, vegetable and protein. So when you walk away from the holiday buffet table with your plate, take a look, get a sense of what you are putting on your plate. We are what we eat.

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