Healthy Through the Holidays

Now that Thanksgiving has passed us, we are officially in the Holiday Season. Hopefully the upcoming weeks will be filled with celebrations with family, friends, and loved ones. We all know the holidays can also bring up a lot of stress, especially when it comes to food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To help ease your food stress this season, check out our seven tips for staying healthy throughout the holidays. And don’t worry, none of these involve forgoing your favorite holiday treats!

1. Skip Skipping Meals

When parties, big family dinners, and holiday cookies seem to be everywhere you turn, it seems like “saving up” for holiday feasts by skipping meals is a viable solution to overeating. Unfortunately, going into a party or big dinner over-hungry can lead to eating more than you would if you ate one or two well balanced meals earlier in the day. Try following the tips below to prevent overeating and promote honoring your hunger and fullness this holiday season.

2. Carve out Time for Exercise

The buzz of the holiday season can make it feel like there is just not enough time for exercise, but that’s likely not the case. Get creative and try to squeeze in a shorter workout in the morning (try this one, or this one), or do a couple of extra laps around the mall when you’re doing your holiday shopping.

3. Celebrate Your Favorite Foods

Many holiday traditions are centered around food; food that usually only graces our tables once or twice a year. This can easily trigger us to overeat as we might not see these favorite foods again for another 12 months! Celebrate your favorite food by indulging, savoring, enjoying, and eating mindfully. The more mindfully you eat, the more satisfied you will feel, and the more likely it will be for you to eat an appropriate amount.

4. Flip Your Script

If you’re used to following a strict diet or food routine, it’s easy to make broad declarations after the holiday to get back on track such as, “I’m giving up carbs!” Or, “I was so bad during the holidays, I have to be good now!” While it’s normal to want to get back to a healthy routine, be careful not to beat yourself up. Enjoy the break in your routine that the holidays bring, and work to flip your script to be a bit kinder towards yourself. Try something like, “I was able to enjoy some of my favorite traditional foods this holiday, but now I’m looking forward to learning some new healthy recipes for my everyday meals.” By flipping your script you allow yourself to have a more positive experience with celebratory foods.

5. Fill Up On Fiber & Protein

As you might have learned from some of our previous posts, nutrient dense, high fiber, and protein-rich foods are the key to feeling full and satisfied. Starting your day off with a high-fiber and high protein breakfast (see this previous post for some ideas), will help keep you full until your next meal (or party). This will help prevent overeating and promote fullness and satisfaction at your next meal.

6. Drink Up

Water, that is. Staying hydrated not only keeps your metabolism running efficiently, it also helps helps you tap into your true hunger cues, as thirst can often be mistaken for hunger. Aim to drink about half your bodyweight in ounces per day (example, if you weight 150 lbs, drink 75 ounces), and fill up on hydrating foods, like these.

7. Take Time for Some R & R

In the season of giving, don’t forget to take care of you! Make sure you’re getting your eight hours of sleep every night, and take some time to get outside for a walk, or just unplug from email and social media to recharge.

Which one of these can you commit to tackling this season? Let us know in the comments below!