Heading to a holiday dinner? The average person eats a whopping 4,500 calories at a typical holiday dinner — to say nothing of the drunken eggnog we’ll reach for when our crazy uncle starts talking politics (again). According to Harvard, you’d literally need to run for six hours straight to burn off those calories. No mom has time for that. It Takes 6 Hours of Exercise to Burn Off Your Holiday Dinner. Survive the holidays with your health and sanity intact with these six-holiday health hacks.
1. Go to Bed More
We get it, the hectic season between November and January is exhausting. So go ahead, get some shut-eye. It turns out that sleep deprivation makes us eat more (on average, women who don’t get enough sleep eat an extra 500 calories a day!). Get more sleep, and you’ll save a ton of calories. If only we could also sleep our way to a bigger salary, kids who behave themselves 24/7, and a husband who does the laundry.
2. Watch Out For Those Sneaky Beverages
By the time the last Christmas decoration gets packed away, we’re all wondering it: “Am I a bit of an alcoholic now?” Wine moms, be warned: 22% of the calories in the average American’s diet comes from our drinks. Of course, no one wants to be the teetotaler at the office Christmas party. Quick-and-easy calorie swaps include:
- Sticking with dry red wine
- Switching out your typical cocktail mixers for sugar-free club soda
- Flavoring your drinks with real, muddled fruit or fresh herbs instead of artificially flavored syrups
3. Cinnamon: “I Put That $#!& On Everything!”
When it comes to sugar and spice and all things nice, put the emphasis on spice. And cinnamon, specifically. Research shows that cinnamon may help you to better manage your blood sugar levels. Think of it as an antidote against the sugar crash that always follows after you’ve been Santa’s little helper.
4. Sip a Detox Tea Every Day
No, we aren’t talking about whatever crazy supplement the Kardashians are hawking on Instagram right now. If your body needs a bit of a break from all the eggnog and gingerbread, stay hydrated with herbal remedies like ginger root tea (it improves digestion), green tea (its antioxidants help you recover from last night’s indiscretions), and dandelion tea (it supports your liver, which probably needs all the help it can this holiday season).
5. Grease Up Without Butter
Butter might make the perfect Christmas dessert, but it’s also the perfect disaster for your health and your waistline. If you’re channeling your inner Julia Child this holiday season, easy and healthy swaps include applesauce, Greek yogurt, and even avocado. You’ll almost not notice that you used less butter. (To be fair, Julia Child is rolling in her grave right now and wishing you “au revoir”)
6. Eat Some Bacteria
Your kids eat dirt, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Healthy bacteria in your gut, whether you take a probiotic supplement or enjoy fermented foods like yogurt or kimchi, help support a healthy metabolism. Regular probiotic usage has also been shown to keep your skin healthy, boost your immune system, and even help you to better manage stress.
7. Eat Your Veggies
Your mom told you to do it. Her mom told her to do it. And now, we’re channeling the ghosts of ancestors past and reminding you to eat more veggies. An estimated nine out of 10 moms apparently don’t listen to this childhood advice, but veggies remain one of the best sources of healthy fiber. Getting more fiber helps you to manage your weight, curbs your cravings, and even moderates your blood sugar. We’ll say it again: Eat your veggies! Thanks for reading It Takes 6 Hours of Exercise to Burn Off Your Holiday Dinner!