Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi

'Tis the Season to Be Healthy!

It's the most wonderful time of the year as we come together with family and friends to celebrate the season. Each holiday celebration brings an opportunity to indulge and those extra calories can really add up before we ring in the new year.

The National Institutes of Health say that overindulging during the holidays can lead to a one to two pound weight gain each year. While that doesn't seem like much, those pounds can add up over the years. Stay on track with your health this holiday season by finding a balance between food and physical activity. This can help prevent holiday weight gain and help you get a head start on a healthy new year!

Here are some tips to help you have a healthy holiday!

Exercise – Stay active this season, to help burn off any extra calories you consume. Exercise will also give you some much-needed time to yourself, keep your energy high and lift your mood.

Prepare and Be Prepared! – First, if you’re preparing food for others, offer some healthy options. Fresh cut fruits and vegetables are visually appealing and are excellent to munch on before meals. When you’re cooking, make healthy substitutions to reduce things like sugar, sodium and fat. If you're going to a party, be prepared to be tempted. Eat a healthy snack before you go like a small serving of nuts, whole-wheat crackers and low-fat cheese or something else to keep you from being too hungry.

Stop when you feel full – Eat more slowly and enjoy your food. Your brain takes longer to register fullness and eating too much too quickly will leave you feeling stuffed.

Be selective – Don't feel obligated to sample every dessert or dressing. Stick with small portions of the things you truly want to eat.

Take the opportunity to share healthy recipes with family and friends. Most foods can be prepared with healthy alternatives and substitutions to higher fat ingredients. Here are some lightened up versions of some favorite holiday treats.

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

Hot Chocolate with Ginger

For more tips on eating healthy during the holidays, visit the American Dietetic Association’s website. WebMD also has tips on making recipes healthier.

We hope you enjoy the celebrations this season. Be healthy!

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