Leaves are falling, turkey and stuffing are soon to be on your shopping list and — before we know it — stockings will be hung with care.
Between the cooler weather and hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be difficult to stay healthy during the fall and coming winter months. Colder, shorter days make it harder to make it to the gym or go for a walk around the neighborhood — so we just stay in. Unfortunately, staying in usually leads to boredom, which tends to lead to snacking.
Follow these tips to ensure your diet and exercise habits don’t take a backseat to cuddling under a warm blanket and indulging in leftover Halloween candy:
1. Pack on the protein. Eating protein keeps you fuller longer. Whether you get your protein from meat, cheese or a protein shake, it’ll help curb your carb and sugar cravings throughout the day. In other words, opt for that extra slice of turkey to avoid the second slice of pecan pie.
2. Continue to drink water. Some people may find it difficult to continue to drink water as the weather gets cooler because most people enjoy their water ice cold. It may be tempting to choose a hot chocolate, cider or a seasonal latte to warm yourself up, but these drinks are often packed with sugar and certainly don’t hydrate your body like water. Luckily, there’s an easy fix to this dilemma: Try drinking room temperature water.
3. Make an exercise schedule — and stick to it. Seeing that it’s possible to fit a workout into your day will make it easier to do it. Ask a friend to commit to the schedule along with you to double-up on accountability. If you’re used to doing outdoor workouts or going to the gym but can’t stand the cold, work out at home. There are loads of free workout videos on Youtube, or you could find an exercise app on your phone.
4. Get those Z’s. Sleep is an important piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle. Getting the right amount of sleep reduces stress, keeps your heart healthy, may even help you lose weight, and more. Although sleep needs vary among individuals, the National Sleep Foundation recommends most adults (ages 18-64) should get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. That number increases for each age group from newborns to teenagers.
5. Don’t put it off until the New Year. It’s common to get discouraged from your healthy living habits if you see a few extra pounds on the scale or have missed your workouts for the past week — but don’t put off your healthy focus until the New Year under the guise of a New Year’s resolution. One or a few setbacks don’t have to mean the end for your healthy eating and exercising habits. Finish out the year strong.