Holiday Dieting Tips

Healthy Holidays Without Diet Rules

As the holiday season gets more hectic, all your good intentions can start slipping away. Maybe you hoped to drop another ten pounds before your office party, but the homemade goodies kept that from happening. Or you convinced yourself that you were NOT going to drink rum-spiked eggnog this year, but suddenly, you're enjoying a second cup of it.

It's a tough time of year to stick with your healthy eating and exercise plans. But instead of giving up until after January 1st, use these common sense ideas to adjust some of your rules.

1. Quit worrying about water
Plan to drink four glasses of water a day. Of course, eight is better, but four is enough to get you by. Plus, you won't have to go to the bathroom as often, so you'll actually get more done.

2. Exercise just a little.
Doing something is always better than doing nothing. So this time of year, just do what you can fit into your schedule. Remember to use the 'Ten minute solution.' Tell yourself that you only have to exercise for 10 minutes, and after that, you can quit. Sometimes at the end of ten minutes, you'll be relieved it's over and you'll stop. But other times, you'll feel better and you might decide to keep going longer.

3. Eat everything!
Just take two bites of everything and savor the taste. Decide whether it's really phenomenal. If it's to die for, eat the whole thing and love it. But if it's ordinary (like a sugar cookie) or perhaps even mediocre, pitch the rest into the trash. Get over it! Of course you can throw food away.

4. Enjoy half a meal.
Eat half of what you want. Take half the serving amount you normally would, then maybe even eat half of that. You'll keep the damage low but still have a good time.

5. Laugh every day
At least once each day, let go of your worries and the demands on your life and do a strong belly laugh! It will lighten your mood, relieve your stress and remind you that this is a joyful time of year, not a serious one.

Try doing a group laugh with your family members or a bunch of silly friends. Have everyone lie on the floor with their head on someone else's stomach. Form a circle so each person has a partner. Or, if there's only two of you, take turns.

Once everyone is in place, start laughing hard enough to lift the head that's resting on your abdomen. Pretty soon, everyone will start laughing harder as the heads and stomachs bounce up and down. When you finally stop laughing, see how much lighter and more peaceful you feel. You'll also notice that you feel more connected to those you did this activity with. And best of all, you may have added years to your life by laughing away your stress.