During the holidays, we are surrounded by delicious food and drinks and parties and it is so easy to over indulge. "Why not? It's the holidays!" we convincingly tell ourselves. The problem is, when we overdo it, not only do our pants get tighter, we're more lethargic, less productive and experience an all around "blah" feeling both mentally and physically. This can really affect our work and home life, relationships and overall well being.
There's good news! If you keep a few tricks up your sleeve you can enjoy the holidays and still feel good and healthy as the new year rolls in.
Ten tips for staying healthy during the holidays:
Drink lots of water - hydration is important especially when your sugar, salt and alcohol intake increases with rich foods and festive beverages. Drinking water before a meal can also help curb your appetite by making you feel more full which can help with overeating.
Manage stress by taking time for yourself - the holidays can be a stressful time, especially if you're the one balancing and coordinating plans, schedules, gifts, cooking and overall family management. Set aside some "you" time to do something that you love - go for a walk, relax in a bath, get a massage, watch a movie...whatever it may be, make the time for yourself.
Eat a snack before heading to a party - try to avoid arriving at a party ready to ravish anything that comes onto your plate. If you arrive at a party really hungry you're more likely to overdo it. Before you head out, eat a small healthy snack with a mix of protein, fat and complex carbs. This will help "curb your enthusiasm" for indulgence when you're out.
Exercise - keeping active will keep your blood flowing and your metabolism going during the holidays. It is also great for mental function and stress management. Even if you only have 10 minutes at a time, it makes a difference (studies show that exercise is cumulative).
Limit your alcohol - this can be a hard one, especially if you're in a social setting. Don't be afraid to set a drink maximum - it will help you stay in control. Or alternate your drink(s) with a glass of water.
Skip the seconds - when filling your plate, make it count! Enjoy that one plate of food and chew slowly. Savor each bite. This will help you avoid overeating and that uncomfortable stuffed feeling.
If it is a potluck, bring a healthy option - if you're invited to a potluck or are hosting a party, provide a healthy yet delicious option! There are some great healthy recipes online.
Get plenty of sleep - consistently getting a good night of rest is critical for proper body and mind functioning and helps keep us healthy and balanced. There are some really cool apps that track your sleep patterns if you're into that.
Avoid the sugar blues - during the holidays we are surrounded by sweet treats. Sugary snacks are delicious and can temporarily bring our spirits and our energy levels up, however the high is quickly followed by a tired, lethargic sometimes down feeling - the "sugar blues." We all know it can be hard to resist Grandma's amazing cookies or Auntie's incredible pumpkin pie - just be aware of overdoing it.
Breathe and enjoy the moment - take a deep breath and a set aside a moment to truly appreciate your family, friends and neighbors. This simple act will help keep you in balance.
Happy Holidays! Enjoy and be safe!
Image courtesy of jaxxon