Holiday Health Myths—Busted
Many people feel as if they face a choice: They can either enjoy the holidays or they can focus on their health. But they can’t do both.
Luckily, that’s a myth. You can have it both ways. The key is to show yourself some holiday kindness. Pat yourself on the back when you choose more vegetables or go for a walk. And cut yourself some slack if you eat too much at one meal or skip a workout one day. You can always get back on track for the next meal or day.
Here’s the truth about three other common myths.
Myth: The holiday is ruined if something doesn’t go as planned.
Reality: Everyone has their own idea of what a “perfect” holiday is—and no one has ever lived it. In real life, setbacks happen and that’s OK. A burned dish or broken ornament is only one part of the whole holiday experience. Remind yourself about all the things that are going right, such as being together with family and friends.
Myth: Being active is hopeless if you don’t have time for long workouts.
Reality: Any amount of physical activity is helpful. Walk or bike to get around when you can. If you drive or take the bus, park farther away or get off at an earlier stop to walk a little more. Play active games with your kids. Get up and move around during the ads while watching TV.
Myth: Feeling stressed and frazzled is unavoidable over the holidays.
Reality: The holiday season can get hectic. Sometimes, the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family is to relax and recharge. Make time for the things you find calming, such as listening to music, reading a book, practicing yoga, or talking with a good friend.
More Than Just Holiday Blues
Everyone gets irritable every now and then—especially around the holidays. But if you’ve felt sad, angry, or hopeless for two weeks or more, ask your primary care provider (PCP) about being screened for depression. Don’t have a PCP? Click here to find the doctor who’s just right for you.
Beware of ‘Hidden’ Calories During the Holidays
Holiday gatherings and eating go hand in hand—that’s why most people gain about a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This pound often lingers past the holidays and can lead to gradual weight gain over the years.
If You’re Going to a Party…
- Choose small, low-calorie meals earlier in the day. This will balance out the calories you’ll eat at the party. Eat a piece of fruit before the party to fill you up.
- Choose boiled shrimp or veggies and a little dip instead of cheese or fried foods. Though tasty, fried foods contain trans fat, which increases your LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol and decreases your HDL, or “good,” cholesterol.
- Watch your intake of fat and “empty calories” in sweets, such as eggnog and pumpkin pie. Half a cup of eggnog has 9.5 grams of fat and 171 calories, while one slice of pumpkin pie packs a whopping 14 fat grams and 316 calories. If possible, satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit or angel food cake instead.
- Foods on your dinner plate may also have hidden calories. For example, half a cup of stuffing has nearly 9 grams of fat and 178 calories.
- If you drink alcohol, have only one alcoholic drink if you’re a woman, two drinks if you’re a man. Then switch to water. Alcohol is high in calories.
Looking for Help with Dinner?
We understand the importance of a good dinner—and lunch, and breakfast. (Snacks, too!) That’s why our Nutrition Centers offer counseling for individuals and groups, teaching healthy eating tips and strategies. Learn more here:
The post was brought to you by Nuvance Health.