STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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grains. Be sure to read the ingredi- ent list on the foods you buy at the grocery store. Some “clean” processed foods include yogurt, cheese and whole wheat pasta.


Limit sugar intake.

The majority of Americans consume more than the daily recommended amount of sugar. Sugars can be found in almost everything; however, added sugars should be avoided. Try cutting out sodas, candy and baked goods. When you are shopping, look for foods that do not have sugar as an ingredient.

Many people ask what “eating clean” means. This common question has a simple answer. Eating clean is eating foods that are natural and healthy instead of unhealthy, processed foods. It means trying to embrace more whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains as well as healthy proteins and fats. The Mayo Clinic describes eating clean as a way of living that lends itself to improving your health and well being.


Eating clean is not an easy task. There are so many temptations on a daily basis at your job, grocery store and celebratory events. Try to find healthy alternatives and focus on fresh, natural ingredients. Eating clean is not always realistic for every meal, but here are five simple steps you can take to begin making healthier choices and start your eating-clean journey:


Purchase fresh produce.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 76 percent of Americans do not consume the daily recommended amount of fruits and 87 percent do not consume the daily recommended amount of vegetables. Eating fresh produce can help lower the risk of many chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Try to purchase fresh produce from the local famer’s market or even try growing your own. Fresh produce is more likely to be organic and have higher nutritional value.

EATING CLEAN IMPROVES HEALTH AND WELL BEING

TANIQUA WARD, M.S.

TaNiqua Ward is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by taniqua ward

Eat whole grains.

The best whole grains to consume are those that require the least amount of processing. Whole grains have all the parts of the original kernel, including bran, germ and endosperm in their original proportions, according to registered dietician Keri Gans. Whole grains are known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and they help with digestion because of their high fiber content. Some examples of healthy whole grain options include brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal.


Eat less meat.

Research is starting to find eating less meat can be healthy for you. You do not have to become a vegan and cut out animal products completely, but reducing meat consumption can have many health benefits. It can help lower your blood pressure, reduce your chances of heart disease and help you lose weight. Try eating grassfeed beef and wild-caught salmon instead of cold cuts and bacon.


Avoid processed foods.

We all know processed foods are convenient and easily accessible. However, it is best to avoid these foods because of their high content of sugar and refined