Fri | Sep 18, 2020

Top 5 holiday temptations and how to avoid them

Published:Wednesday | December 18, 2019 | 12:20 AM
Christmas brownies
Christmas brownies

The holiday season means delicious food and parties galore. If you’ve been dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there’s no reason to throw away all your hard work. You just need to make adjustments to your routine so you can enjoy the Christmas guilt-free.

Here are the five biggest holiday temptations and how to manage them:

TEMPTATION #1: Parties:

To avoid temptation at holiday gatherings, never walk into one hungry. No amount of willpower will stop you from rushing the dessert table if you arrive on an empty stomach. Before you go, have a good, balanced meal that includes protein, veggies and plenty of water. Even if you do treat yourself to a slice of Christmas cake once there, you’ve done some substantial damage control.

TEMPTATION #2: Skipping Workouts:

Exercise frequency drops off dramatically over the Christmas, according to a Gallup poll. If you don’t have a gym membership, investing in a few key pieces of exercise equipment – weights, bands, kettlebells, workout videos – can help you supplement your workouts and maintain an active lifestyle.

And use the busy holidays to your benefit. Wear comfortable shoes and use your shopping trips to walk more and carry those many bags of goodies. Turn Christmas house cleaning and sprucing up into a great workout session to burn some calories.

Temptation #3: Office Treats:

As if your own holiday party indulgences weren’t bad enough, you also have to deal with other people’s leftover treats in your workplace breakroom. To avoid temptation, make sure your meal prep is on point every week and includes healthy snacks to keep you full throughout the day. It’s much easier to politely decline those cookies when you’ve filled up on almonds or light popcorn.

TEMPTATION #4: Holiday Traditions:

Ham with all the trimmings. Christmas cake and sorrel non-stop. Endless delectable, colourful pastries. As much as we look forward to these traditions, they can take a toll on a healthy lifestyle. This year, try focusing less on food and more on shared experiences. Trade the annual cake bake-off for a road trip to the country or a day at the beach; skip your calorie-laden dessert and become the life of the party by bringing creative games to play after dinner.

TEMPTATION #5: Liquid Calories:

Sorrel, eggnog, wine, cocktail, or a festive holiday blend are delicious ways to celebrate the season, but they add up quickly. Alcohol has almost the same number of calories per gram as fat, and a typical hot chocolate with whipped cream is around 400 calories. If you’re going to indulge, do so in moderation. Peppermint tea is a festive, tasty alternative as well. Sorrel has lots of health benefits, but drink in moderation. Remember, most sorrel drinks are laden with sugar.

Avoiding temptation doesn’t mean avoiding the fun. Just take careful steps to put yourself in a position where it’s easier to make good choices, and not undo all that hard work over the past 11 months.