Holidays the Healthy Way
The holidays are in full swing, which means lots of family, fun…and FOOD! But it doesn’t have to mean extra pounds. Even holiday treats can fit into a healthy eating plan. The key is balance and moderation.
To avoid holiday weight gain, balance the calories you consume with the calories you burn. Physical activity and moderate food choices will help. The tips below are gifts you can give yourself and your family to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Let the holiday spirit move you!
If you make your family time active, you will become healthier and have fun doing so. Be adventurous and try something new, but also choose something you enjoy.
- Stick to your regular exercise routine as much as possible. Especially during the holidays, plan your physical activity routine in advance (don’t leave it up to chance). Mark it on the calendar and consider it as important as any other appointment. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity daily, and more if possible.
- Cut back on your family’s television viewing time. Limit the number of hours your children spend playing video games. Instead make a new holiday tradition. Take a brisk walk (or wheel) around the neighborhood to see the holiday decorations or grab your bike, walking shoes and head out to the nearest trails or national park.
- Play some backyard football or Frisbee with children and adults before the big holiday dinner or during football half-time.
- Dance or exercise to your favorite holiday music.
- Make a New Year's resolution with friends to start a daily walking group.
- Be physically active to avoid or relieve the holiday stress.
Healthy Holiday Eating
- Overcome the urge to overeat. Standing by the buffet table is temptation to overeat. Remember holiday parties are a time to celebrate with family and friends, not just food.
- It's easy to overindulge during the holidays. Make sure to watch portion sizes and select one or two of your favorites from the host of tempting foods.
- Leave those extra calories behind — limit your intake of foods high in fat or added sugar.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Holidays the Healthy Way
The holidays are a great time to enjoy a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Bowls of fresh fruit are a festive and sweet substitute for candy or chocolates.
- Remember calories add up! This is especially true during the holidays when we snack more. For a healthy snack, choose a piece of fresh fruit.
- You’ve tried the leftover turkey sandwich; now try the leftover turkey salad! Add a few pieces of turkey to a generous portion of mixed greens, cucumbers, mushrooms, peppers, or any other vegetables you like. Sprinkle with dried cranberries for that authentic holiday taste.
- Check out FruitsandVeggiesMatter.gov for great ideas to serve your guests a variety of fruits and vegetables!
A Present Packed with a Colorful Variety
- For a great holiday gift, try going to your farmer's market or grocery store and selecting fresh fruits and vegetables. Place all your tasty treats in a basket, and you have a present packed with tasty fruits and vegetables.
Holiday Cooking: Keeping it Safe!
- As the holidays approach we like to celebrate by entertaining friends and family, throwing parties, and preparing feasts. From the buffet table to the office party, food moves center stage throughout the holiday season. Be sure to keep food safe by following basic food safety steps.
If you would like a specific topic discussed or have a question you would like answered in a future issue of this newsletter, please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UT System Employee Benefits Web site: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/
UT System Retirement Programs Web site: www.utretirement.utsystem.edu
Your Local Benefits Office: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/contacts.asp#1