It is that time of year-the holiday season. People tend to eat more, drink more, and are usually a little less active -- but it doesn't have to be that way. Check out these tips from Sarah Fagalde, Health Educator at Landstuhl Army Wellness Center, to learn how you can enjoy the holiday season without packing on the pounds.Tip one: remember that the holiday season is about more than just food and drink.
Fagalde said, "Take time to admire the decorations and focus on visiting with friends and family whom you haven't seen in a long time. It is unrealistic to not indulge in some holiday treats, but the key is to do it mindfully, and in moderation."Additionally, she said to find fun ways to stay active during the holidays and to include your family.Tip two: Take precautions and try to limit weight gain -- Indulge in the holidays "with purpose.""One way to take precautions is to make sure you don't show up to a party starving," Fagalde said. "Instead, consider eating a healthy snack before going to a party, such as yogurt mixed with high fiber cereal, or some hummus with veggies.She also said it can be helpful to select a smaller plate size (9" vs 12" plates).One way to ensure there are healthier food options available is to volunteer to bring some food to a party.And most importantly, drink alcohol in moderation.Tip three: When you do over-indulge, don't be self-deprecating."You overate for one day; do not give up," Fagalde said. "Get back on track again and be more conscious of your portion sizes the next day."She also said that when you over do it, it is important to not try and make up for the extra calories by skipping meals the next day. Instead, stick to your normal exercise routine and track what you eat.Tip Four: Start the New Year off on the right foot -- with the help of the AWC."The Army Wellness Center staff wants to help individuals overcome the obstacles that stand between them and good health," Fagalde said. "The AWC can help people establish goals early in their programs."She went on to say that "those who embrace the goal-setting process find it to be helpful, as they have defined exactly what they will work on. We empower our clients to set their own health goals and achieve them."Army Wellness Centers are designed to promote and sustain healthy lifestyles and improve the overall wellbeing of visitors."We offer a standard suite of six core programs that include health assessment review, physical fitness, healthy nutrition education, stress management, general wellness education and tobacco education," Fagalde said. "We help our clients make healthy lifestyle decisions by providing access to state-of-the-art resources like fitness/metabolic/body composition testing."Throughout the Regional Health Command Europe footprint, there are five AWCs. They are located in Landstuhl, Wiesbaden, Stuttgart and Vilseck, Germany; and Vicenza, Italy. All of the AWC staff stands by, ready to assist you with your health related goals. To find an AWC near you, visit: https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/healthyliving/al/Pages/ArmyWellnessCenters.aspx