Sunday, November 27, 2022

Some pros tips for staying on track this holiday season

Staying healthy during the holidays can be a challenge, but it's not impossible (Port City Daily photo/FILE)
Staying healthy during the holidays can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible (File photo/WYDaily)

The Holidays are in full swing, from Christmas office parties to holiday dinners with the in-laws, staying healthy during this time of the year can prove to be difficult. That’s why Port City Daily got some tips for staying in shape from a health and fitness professional.

Lindsey Baranko with Orangetheory Fitness offered suggestions – from eating before heading to a holiday party to staying hydrated.

Watch out for empty calories

There are lots of reasons to love holiday offerings, from eggnog to gingerbread cookies the holidays have no shortage of comfort food.

“It’s not easy, it’s that time of year where you want to splurge and there are going to be those sugary tempting foods around, which are fine, but you want them in moderation,” Baranko said.

While often easier said than done, being aware of the amount of food being consumed is important, she said. Apart from mindless grazing on snacks and other food often found during the holidays, drinks often carry a significant amount of calories that are often overlooked.

Be sure to remember the calories included in drinks like eggnog and holiday coffee favorites (Port City Daily photo/FILE)
Be sure to remember the calories included in drinks like eggnog and holiday coffee favorites (File photo/WYDaily)

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated can also help prevent packing on excess weight, especially during the winter.

“Because it is colder during the winter, you tend to not drink as much water, so always keeping a bottle with you can help,” Baranko said.

Apart from being a necessity in general, increasing water intake can help people feel fuller and less likely to eat, as well as help flush toxins out of the body.

“Because it is colder during the winter, you tend to not drink as much water, so always keeping a bottle with you can help.”

Healthy alternatives

Consider healthy alternatives when heading to holiday parties (Port City Daily photo/FILE)
Consider healthy alternatives when heading to holiday parties (File photo/WYDaily)

Sugary foods are abundant this time of the year, especially when it comes to drinks like holiday lattes. A healthy alternative to these often calorie packed coffee house favorites is to opt for the “skinny” versions of the drinks.

“They can make everything with skim milk and it tastes just as great,” Baranko said.

Serving sizes also play a key role when it comes to staying fit and moderation is important, that’s why she suggests choosing the small sizes when it comes to drinks, especially since some of the drinks can contain more than 600 calories.

When it comes to holiday parties, bringing a healthy alternative to snack on like a veggie tray can help curb unhealthy eating habits like grazing.

“My biggest tip would be to eat before you go, eat a big substantial amount of protein. If you can eat 20-25 grams of protein before you go to that party, you’re not going to want to eat as much while you’re there. While you are at the party I would specifically try and enjoy your company, enjoy conversations with your friends and try not to think about the food,” Baranko said.

“If you can eat 20-25 grams of protein before you go to that party, you’re not going to want to eat as much while you’re there.”

Staying active

While the weather might not get as cold in Wilmington as it does in other parts of the country, winter still tends to keep people inside. For Baranko, sticking to a fitness schedule is key to staying in shape, especially during the winter.

While going to a gym like Orangetheory is an option, those without a gym membership can still stay active.

“As far as doing a workout from the home I suggest doing a quick circuit. Do a 20-minute workout consisting of 1-minute of push-ups, 1-minute of burpees, 1-minute of sit-ups, and 1-minute of squats – take a 1-minute break and do that five times,” she said.

This story was published in partnership with WYDaily’s sister paper, Port City Daily.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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