This time of year is stressful for those of us concerned about our waistlines, and more importantly, our health.

 

But it doesn’t have to be so hard. Here are some tips you can incorporate into your holiday events that will keep you feeling healthy and balanced.

1. Load up on veggies.

We’re big fans of the “half the plate” rule: fill ¼ of your plate with protein, ¼ with carbs, and ½ with leafy greens. The fiber will keep you full so you don’t load up on unhealthier options. Leafy greens especially help you process your food quicker and alleviate bloating. Check out these recipes.

2. Drink water. Lots of it.

Most of us aren’t drinking enough water. It sounds counterintuitive, but hydrating alleviates bloating. Plus, water gives you energy (goodbye food coma) and helps you eat as much as your body needs, not what it wants. Aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces — so if I’m a 120 lb woman, I’ll aim to drink 60 oz of water daily. And yes, tea counts! Here are some tips to easily get more H20.

3. Move every day.

It might be the last thing you want to do over the holidays, but being active alleviates stress (we all know how Uncle Mike gets when he’s hungry). Plus, 30 minutes daily is all you need, so it’s easy to fit it in when you can. Go for a brisk walk, practice yoga, or do some bodyweight exercises. If you’re traveling, try these at-home workouts.

4. Watch your alcohol intake.

Alcohol calories add up quickly, and they don’t provide much sustenance. Aim for two drinks max, and have two cups of water between drinks. Also, stick with lighter drink options, like a vodka tonic. Your future self will thank you.

5. Everything in moderation. Including moderation.

This one’s a biggie. Most of us practice moderation on a daily basis. We manage our intake. We exercise. We don’t eat chocolate as often as we’d like. It’s okay to let loose on the holidays — fighting food guilt might just help you relieve stress. So let a little loose — just make sure you have your Thanksgiving pants.