Take advantage of time away from home

Dec. 11, 2012 @ 09:46 PM

Visiting family and friends can be a special part of the season, but time spent away from home can put a kink in your routine. Fortunately, you have the Eat Smart, Move More…Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday Challenge to help you stay on track when your schedule takes a turn. If you find yourself away more than you are home this holiday season, work in some of these strategies to keep you fit.
Try new things. Experts say that the best time to start a new habit is when you are out of your comfort zone. Maybe you tend to wake up early when you are in someone else’s home. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the morning hours, and take a walk outside. Now is your chance to try a new food that your host offers. Even if the dish isn’t 100% healthy, it may include a new spice or grain that you can incorporate in a recipe of your own.
Take advantage of being on the move. Being outside of your comfort zone means you won’t be spending much time in front of the TV. You’ve already got a head start, so now that you are off the couch, round up some people to go for a hike, ride bikes around town, dance or do something crafty.
Bring along a delicious healthy dish that you love. Whether you are visiting family for a few days or friends for the evening, bring a healthy and delicious side dish or two. This will give you something safe to nibble on if the other options don’t fit into your healthy eating plan. For example, if you know that there will be a shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables, bring a big veggie tray with a dip made from Greek yogurt.
Help the hostess. Lots of people just want to sit after a big meal. Twenty minutes of not moving can easily turn into hours after a holiday dinner. Take a more active approach to your post-meal ritual. Get up and help with the dishes to burn a few calories and keep you from nibbling at the table. Later when furniture needs to be put back in place, help move it. Your host will thank you for pitching in, and so will your waistline!
Continue healthy habits at home. Pick one or two healthy practices you tried away from home, and keep up with them when you return. Before you know it, walking after waking or eating oatmeal for breakfast may be part of your regular morning routine.
For more information about the Eat Smart, Move More…Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday Challenge, visit MyEatSmartMoveMore.com.