The holidays are a time for cheer

Tips on healthy eating

The holiday season is quickly approaching which may mean getting together with family and friends and enjoying all kinds of delicious, decadent delights. A bit of planning can help you stay on track with a heart-healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips and tricks for the festive days ahead while still enjoying yourself and partaking in holiday cheer!

  • Start your day with a heart-healthy breakfast. Choosing nutrient-dense foods that are high in protein, low in fat (such as oatmeal or Greek yogurt with nuts or fresh fruit) sets up your day for success.
  • Have low-calorie appetizers first. It is easy to commit to at least one healthy choice when it comes to the snack table! Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great option. This continues your nutritious streak for the day and contributes to feeling fuller faster, preventing you from over-eating.
  • Bring your own tasty dish. This gives you an opportunity to share a heart-healthy recipe with your loved ones and ensures you have at least one dish that follows your dietary plan.
  • Create some distance (from the snack table!). It can be easy to lose track of what you’re eating as you chat and catch up. Putting physical space between yourself and the buffet table may reduce your tendency to nosh.
  • Use a plate. When you do eat, use a plate to monitor portion sizes and eat slowly.
  • Don’t forget to move. As the weather starts getting colder, keep moving! Take a walk in the yard, around the block, or simply from one end of the house to the other. Dance to holiday music. All movement counts!
  • Exercise. If you’re able, build a workout in to your schedule. While movement is beneficial, dedicating 20 – 30 minutes of continuous activity is even better. Plus, this is a great way to relieve stress. Invite a friend or family member to join in; they can help encourage you to keep going.

Motivation and willpower are strengthened like muscles. The more you work them, the more they work for you. Brandi Lyon, PA-C, Northern Light Cardiology, sums it up perfectly, “The holidays don’t have to be detrimental to your health. You make multiple decisions every day about your heart health which gives you ample opportunities to stay on track. You CAN do this with planning and preparation.” 

Remember to focus on the joy this season brings, your loved ones near and far, and making new memories. Happy Holidays!

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