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Posted on 11-18-2014

It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is here and Thanksgiving is just right around the corner.  We want to share some of our favorite tips and tricks with you to ensure that you not only have a happy holiday season, but even more importantly, a healthy holiday season!

We all know that this time of year can get very busy, very quickly and one of the best ways to stay on track with your health and fitness goals is to have a plan!  Here are some easy ways to stay in control when that last slice of pie is staring you down! 

  • Plan your workouts and stick to your plan! Not only will this keep those unwanted lbs away but exercising regularly will also give you the energy you need to cross off every item on that holiday to-do list!
  • Prepare healthy snacks to take with you when traveling. This will keep you from those expensive and unhealthy stops at convenient stores and fast food joints.
  • Don’t skip your workout just because you are traveling! Resistance bands provide an awesome way to still get a challenging workout in without weighing down your luggage.  (Find a few travel workout ideas here!)
  • Start new traditions! Instead of falling asleep watching football after dinner, take the whole family outside and actually play football or maybe take a walk. You could also find a fitness event for the whole family to participate in. If you live in the Knoxville area, here are a few options:
  • Hot to Trot Knoxville, 5k / 10k / 1m Fun Run  – Thanksgiving Day @ 7:30 am
    • Turkey Creek
  • Autumnfest 5k / Little Gobbler Run – Thanksgiving Day @ 8:00 am
    • Downtown Knoxville , Gay Street
  • Jingle Bell Run, 5k, 10k, 1m Fun Walk – December 13th @ 10:00 am
    • Downtown, World’s Fair Park

One of the biggest downfalls we face during the holidays is all the food! Big dinners with families and parties with friends wreck your fitness goals for sure, but we have a few tips that may help!

  • Eat REAL food! There are so many wonderful choices of nutrient-rich foods to eat this time of year. Don’t fall into the trap of “fast and easy” imitation foods (think “gravy” out of a can, instant mashed potatoes, etc). Here are a few holiday “superfoods” that not only taste good but that also have amazing health benefits.
    • Pumpkin – An excellent source of beta carotene which promotes better vision, higher metabolism, and healthier skin.
    • Cranberries – An antioxidant high in vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin K- all of which boost your immune system and help your body function better.
    • Turkey – A great source of B vitamins, selenium, zinc and iron. Eating a healthy serving of turkey can promote good sleep, boost immunity and help build lean body mass.
    • Sweet Potatoes – High in beta carotene, vitamins C & E, and iron. Sweet potatoes are a super yummy way to make sure you get your daily quota of nutrients.
    • Chestnuts – A great source of fiber, omegas 3 & 6, vitamin C and folic acid -all of which work to promote healthy digestion and increased immunity.
  • Make sure there are colorful veggies on the table. Things like a leafy green salad, sautéed brussel sprouts, green beans and sweet potatoes all not only look beautiful on your table, but also pack a punch full of healthy vitamins and minerals. The more colorful the food, the more nutrients it provides. Eat up!
  • Wear pants with a button! It may sound like a crazy tip, but choosing to wear clothing that is more form fitting will keep you from that extra serving of pie. When you wear something loose or stretchy, your stomach has more room to expand, however, feeling those favorite jeans getting tighter will likely remind you to put down the fork.
  • Size really does matter! Portion size, that is. Choosing a smaller plate will not only help control how much food you put on your plate but it will also keep you from overeating. Our brains have been programmed since childhood to “clean our plates”, so choosing a smaller plate will ensure that you can have some of each food you like without overdoing it. (Click here for a helpful graphic on serving size.)
  • Make a choice! Choose to either have a holiday drink you love or a serving of dessert. Not both!
  • Drink water!! Drinking water with your meal will not only save you a few calories, but it will also help to rid your body of all the potential toxins and sugars that you are putting in your body with Grandma’s stuffing. (You can find a great graphic on proper hydration here!)
  • Be accountable! Buddy up with a friend with similar goals and help each other avoid skipping workouts or overindulging. You can also use apps such as MyFitnessPal to log your food intake, workouts, and even the supplements you take.  

We hope these tips will help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals through the Holiday season so that you can close out the year with no regrets! Most importantly, we hope you take some time to truly be thankful for your blessings and enjoy time with your friends and family.

For more helpful tips, healthy recipes, and fitness inspirations, check out our "Healthy Holidays" board on Pinterest here

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