The holiday season is nearly upon us, which means the temptation of countless empty calories is just around the corner! It’s easy to put your diet on hold and insist you’ll start again after Thanksgiving, but then you have Christmas and New Year, and if you’re feeling particularly lazy, you might even use Valentine’s Day as an excuse!
It’s time to stop putting things on hold and start finding healthier ways to get through the holidays!
Here are my tips for staying healthy during the season of indulgence.
Incorporate Exercise into Your Holiday Routine
There’s always time for exercise, as you don’t need to do a lot to feel the benefits.
In fact, the American Heart Association recommends a minimum of just 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.
If you don’t have time for daily jogs, stretching, yoga, and everything else you may have been recommended, stick with 3 workouts a week. It gives your body sufficient time to recover and it’s more than enough to improve your health, tone your body, and banish fatigue.
Exercise your full body during these workouts. Incorporate resistance exercise (with bands or weights) and take it easy.
The holidays are also a good time to exercise with the family, whether you’re walking around the neighborhood after a meal, playing sports, or dancing.
Nourish Your Body with Whole Foods
If you’re planning a big family meal later in the day, eat a wholesome, nutrient-dense meal for breakfast. It will keep hunger at bay until lunch, thus preventing you from binging on high-calorie snacks.
When lunchtime arrives, choose healthier options. Stick with high-protein foods and vegetable dishes, and if you can’t resist your usual high-calorie favorites, just reduce the portion size.
You don’t need a trough of mac n cheese—a little side plate will suffice!
To prevent overeating, load small amounts of food onto your plate at a time. Eat slowly and chew your food more (savor those holiday dishes!). It helps to drink a lot of water while you eat, keeping you away from wine/beer/soda and filling you up.
Stay Hydrated and Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol has a SERIOUSLY adverse impact on your health.
In the short term it can dehydrate you and impact your sleep. In the long term, it affects everything from your liver health to your waistline and hormones.
It’s okay to enjoy the occasional tipple, but moderation is key!
Make smarter choices, such as no- or low-alcohol beverages. You can’t go wrong with water, either, and you’ll need to drink plenty to stay hydrated and healthy.
I recommend taking electrolytes too. I personally take LMNT and swear by them.
Prioritize Quality Sleep and Relaxation
A healthy mind needs sleep, but with the chaos of the holiday season, it’s easy to fall out of rhythm.
Create a relaxing bedtime ritual to ensure you get plenty of sleep. Take a long soak in the bath. Put down the phone. Read. And if you’re traveling, prepare in advance to ensure you’ll have time to sleep.
There are a few supplements that can support healthy sleep patterns, including D3 5,000 + K and PhytoMulti—find them here.
These natural supplements won’t leave you groggy and irritable the next morning and work wonders when used as part of a relaxing sleep ritual.
Sleep is easier if you stress less throughout the day. So, relax more, meditate, and distance yourself from the things that stress you out.
Balance Family Time and Social Gatherings
Finally, just because you’re limiting your alcohol and fatty foods, doesn’t mean you should avoid your loved ones.
This is the season for family and togetherness, after all.
Spend time with them, avoid over-stressing, and think about your emotional health before you get into any arguments.
Attend social gatherings, accept family invites, and have fun! Don’t be a party pooper just because you’re minding your health!
American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults