In all honesty, I give my health a free pass for most of October, November, and December. I'm not one to strictly limit myself when it comes to Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner, or holiday cocktails. With that said, I dislike christening the New Year with three extra pounds and, as a result, dampened confidence in my carefully selected New Year's Eve outfit. Which is why I found PopSugar fitness editor Gina Florio's holiday health rules helpful, or, at the very least, enlightening as to how the other half lives. Whether you're just curious about how one manages to stay healthy over the holidays or are looking to make a few lifestyle changes, find Florio's strategies below:
Only eat when you're hungry.
Sure, it can be tempting to grab that second helping of stuffing out of pure pleasure, but she recommends listening to your gut. "If you listen to your body, it will tell you when it's actually in need of food or if you're just bored or answering a silly craving," Florio writes. She recommends drinking a glass of water before indulging a passing snack craving. "You might be surprised at how often we mistake thirst for hunger," she adds. "Following this rule will prevent you from overeating. The more you listen to your body, the more you'll be able to decipher when you truly need food and when you don't."
Snack before holiday parties.
"Going to a party hungry is a rookie mistake," she continues. "I would know, because I've made it hundreds of times." Just like going grocery shopping on an empty stomach will leave you with an overflowing cart, attending an event without snacking before will likely lead to overeating. "Even if there is going to be food at the party I'm going to, I always make sure I have a protein-rich snack before I head out the door," she adds. "This keeps me full and satiated, and I'm able to think clearer about which snacks I'm reaching for."
Alternate wine and water.
Too much alcohol and not enough water will leave you feeling dehydrated, hungry, and uninhibited. "That combination often leads to overeating, due to a cloudy head and dulled senses," she writes. "By drinking a glass of water with every drink, I'm able to pace myself and think smartly about the food I'm choosing to eat."