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How to enjoy Christmas and still stay healthy

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This Christmas, the best thing you can do to yourself and your body is to set one simple intention: enjoy. That means finding a happy balance between spending time with the people you love, eating the foods you only really get to eat once a year, and making sure to keep your body healthy.

So how can you do it? It’s really, very simple.

Eat what you like (but not too much)

Whether you love the traditional sweets or lean more towards the spiked holiday drinks, make sure you don’t deny yourself your favorite treats this season. Trying to cut out the foods that make you happy usually just leads to binge habits and feelings of shame that actually make it more difficult to stick to a healthy diet.

Instead, research shows it’s much better to allow yourself to enjoy your favorite things in moderation. If you love cookies, have a cookie. If you love wine, have a glass. Just make sure you’re not going overboard. And, more importantly, don’t feel guilty about it.

Another helpful tip: supplement those treats with your normal, nutritious diet. If you know you’re going to have a big, unhealthy family meal, plan on having a healthy salad or quinoa bowl an hour or two before the party. That way, you can sample some of your favorites but you’ll feel full enough not to gorge on the unhealthy stuff.

Stay active

We can’t stress this one enough. One of the pitfalls of the holidays is feeling like you’ve lost the momentum you’ve built up over the year. This just makes it harder to get back into the swing of things once the festivities are over.

But, even more than that, halting our exercise plans can have an emotional impact on us. Feelings of guilt and shame are the expected outcomes, sure, but there is research that suggests it’s more than that. Suddenly stopping your exercise routine can make you feel pretty anxious too.

So, do yourself a favor and don’t let the holidays interrupt your exercise schedule too much. That might mean fitting in a run before breakfast or hitting up the local studio for a cheeky yoga class. Even an after-dinner walk is better than foregoing any exercise at all.

Don’t forget to relax!

Holidays are a time for family, friends, and happiness. So this Christmas season, make the most of it by eating and drinking well, taking care of your body, and most importantly, enjoying yourself!

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