People often eat a shocking amount of food during the holidays. They will joke about wearing the loosest pants that they can in the process, and they will decide to more or less lift all of the normal restrictions that they have about eating. It is no wonder that a lot of people end up sick after the holidays, and that it takes them a while to get themselves back in order.
To a certain extent, staying healthy during the holidays will always be connected with a person’s behaviour during the rest of the year. People only really overindulge during the holidays because they deprive themselves of what they like during the rest of the year.
People do tend to have poor exercise habits during the holidays, but many of these very same people have poor exercise habits throughout the year. The people who have a healthy attitude towards food and exercise throughout the whole year will typically find that the holidays do not pose a lot of extra challenges for them.
Healthier Attitudes towards Food
Dieting is less popular today than it used to be, but people are even more concerned about eating healthier than they ever were. The natural food movement has been increasingly successful for a while. People today in many cultures are less interested in weight control but more interested in maintaining a high standard of general health. The focus today is increasingly on healthy habits.
As people start to move towards body acceptance and away from dieting and deprivation, they will often find that they feel less inclined to overeat unhealthy food. A piece of pumpkin pie during the holidays is nice, but it does not seem like ambrosia to a person who is willing to eat sweets every now and then without worrying about the calories.
Having a healthy diet means eating enough fruits and vegetables, along with protein, healthy fat, and some amounts of healthy carbohydrates. Exercise, which can take the form of thirty-minute daily walks, is an equally important healthy habit. However, people can still eat unhealthy food sometimes and skip exercise sometimes while still generally maintaining healthy habits.
People who diet and deprive themselves all the time tend to find rich food so tempting that they will eat huge amounts of it when their willpower slips. The holiday season gives a lot of people an excuse to do this. However, a lot of dieters will find that they will overindulge even more than they wanted to initially as a result of this temporary freedom.
Individuals who eat healthy food but who do not deprive themselves and who do not eat less than what they need will typically not overindulge during the holiday season. They will enjoy the turkey and ham for what it is and they will have reasonable portions of the rest of the food. Overindulgence seems to be the counterpart to prolonged deprivation.
Ultimately, people can prepare for the holidays by developing healthier habits in advance. They can try to eat healthier diets that do not leave them feeling deprived, and they can allow themselves unhealthy food from time to time without the usual moral judgments that they might apply.
Food is not a moral issue. It’s just a health issue. When people start to see food in those terms, it has a tendency to make things like holiday eating more dramatic than they really are. This is not a situation that has to persist. Developing healthier attitudes towards food will allow people to enjoy healthier Christmas and holiday seasons for years to come.
Similarly, people who exercise regularly probably already know what to do when the holidays approach. They know how to plan their gym time or exercise time around busier parts of their lives. They know how much exercise they need in order to feel better in general. They have already worked out all of the details themselves. People in this situation will find it much easier to move forward all year, and they will be able to enjoy holiday seasons that do not feel like major setbacks. A Christmas dinner is not a test of anyone’s character, and it doesn’t have to feel like that.