For many of us, healthy habits go out the window during the holidays season. The endless parties, rich foods and busy schedules can make it challenging to stay on track.
Christine Stirparo, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with Pacific Medical Centers stopped by the Q13 studio with three ways to stay healthy through the holidays.
What are the biggest holiday pitfalls when it comes to our health over the holidays?
The biggest pitfall is disrupting our eating patterns. Let's say you have an event coming up, a holiday party, you might think to yourself, well, I have this event later tonight, I know there's going to be a lot of delicious food so I'm not going to eat that much today, during the day because I want to make sure I have enough space available to eat all the delicious food. While in theory that might work, you balance your intake so you get about the same amount of food each day, what usually ends up happening is we show up to these events and we're starving because we haven't had a lot of food that day. We also might have a little voice in our head saying go ahead eat, you haven't eaten all day, go for it. What ends up happening is usually overindulge and end up eating way more food that we would have if we had just had our normal meals throughout the day.
2. Stay on top of exercise.
When is best time to exercise to keep our metabolism going through the holidays?
The best time to exercise is whenever you have time to exercise. So basically whenever you can fit it in it's going to make a difference. The time within a specific day doesn't really have that much of an impact but it's pretty much all the movement you can do throughout the day is going to have an impact on your health and metabolism.
3. Set a health goal.
As a dietitian and nutritionist, what's your overall advice to people to get through the next few weeks leading into the New Year?
Think about what's really important to you. So you want to ask yourself, why do I want to eat healthy through the holiday season? You want to be able to answer that question. So you might have a specific fitness goal, for instance, run a marathon or you want to complete an iron man or maybe you just have a general health goal where you want to feel comfortable in your clothing or maybe you don't want to feel so winded when you walk up the stairs. It's really helpful to be able to articulate exactly what is important to you because when you're presented with some food options you're able to make choices that align with those health goals you have.