When it comes to the holidays, temptation can lie in wait everywhere. Delicious eggnog, our favorite warm-weather foods, rich desserts, and everything we enjoy is just an arm’s length away. Parties and family reunions fill our evenings around this time of year, so there’s no shortage of events and opportunities to eat foods that taste good, but aren’t so good for us. Even worse, escaping a party empty-handed is difficult, so you’ve got more tempting treats coming home with you. There are leftovers that need to be taken care of!
If you’re trying to take care of your cardiovascular system, the holidays can put strain on your willpower. But keep reading for a few tips on how you can stay on track, while still enjoying all the holidays have to offer.
Did you know that cholesterol is the leading cause of death in the United States? Unfortunately, it is true, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change that. So, what can you do to recover from being one of the estimated 81 million people who suffer from high cholesterol? Well, first, understanding cholesterol is important. Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75% of blood cholesterol; the other 25% comes from the foods you eat. So, changing your cholesterol levels involve lifestyle changes.
And, thankfully, those changes can be made one day at a time.
Changing your cholesterol is about more than switching out your beer for water, then going back to your normal, sedentary life. It takes more than that, but that’s a great way to start! Before you cut out everything you love to eat and forcing yourself to join the gym, take a moment and ask yourself why you do things the way you do. Understanding the forces at work and the habits you have can help you make lasting changes.
For example, you may reject salads and fruit as “real meals” because you were raised by parents who joked about “rabbit food.” Or maybe you drift towards the snack table because that’s where everyone tends to gather at parties. It can be hard to resist temptation, but if you’re really just interested in meeting people, do you have to grab a brownie, too?
If all else fails, try cheating. Eat a salad before you go to a party. You’ll be less hungry, and you’ll have already given your body food that can help you control your weight and your cholesterol.