From family obligations to holiday get-togethers, to after work and festive partying with friends, maintaining healthy holiday habits is hard! There is plenty to tempt you all the way through New Year’s Day.
I mean, who can say no when mom offers an extra helping of her famous dessert?
Are Healthy Holidays Really Possible?
With all the opportunities to indulge, it can be hard to stick to a healthy holiday routine. But don’t freak out! It is possible to have some fun without losing all of your progress. Here are some of our favorite tips for getting through the holiday season.
Go big (every once in a while).
The holidays are notorious for big feasts. Rather than looking at them like they’re landmines waiting to derail your dreams, create a plan.
First, remember that each one is a single eating occasion (rather than seeing it as one big party that extends from Thanksgiving through New Year’s). While it’s OK to indulge for a night, it’s not OK to do so for the entire season. You don’t want to undo everything you’re working so hard to achieve.
Here’s a great tip: If you know you’re going to eat a heavy meal, feel free to eat a little less for the other meals that day (most likely breakfast and lunch). Don’t skip breakfast entirely however – that’s not being kind to your body. You’ll need the energy and missing that morning meal could potentially raise your blood sugar levels for the rest of the day.
Drink plenty of water.
You know what we say about drinking a gallon of ice water every day to keep your body cool and activate the fat-burning power of your body’s brown fat stores. During the holidays, water is even more important. It will keep you hydrated, energetic and healthy.
Because it’s easy to confuse hunger with thirst, try a large glass of ice water before a meal. It can help you feel more full so you don’t pig out as much!
Get your sleep.
The holidays can be stressful and busy — the hustle and bustle can take a toll on your sleep routine.
It may seem impossible but try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – even when you’re on vacation. Regular sleep improves your concentration and mental clarity, regulates your mood, relieves stress and restores your body. As Ellington Darden says, “90 percent of the muscle you build during working out occurs while you’re sleeping.”
Yes, with shorter days and busier nights, it can be hard. That just means you may need to be a bit more creative and find other ways to keep moving. Working out and staying active will help you manage the stress that comes with this time of year.
Travel doesn’t have to be a hurdle.
Admittedly, fitness is called a routine because you do it on a schedule. Travel can be anything but routine. But even if you’re traveling, you can still work out. The world becomes your gym!
Take in the sights! A brisk walk is one of the best things you can do. Stroll the neighborhood and check out the holiday lights. Invite your relatives to join you so you can get in some family time. (You may even help introduce them to healthy habits.)
Also, expect the unexpected. Pack some healthy fruits, nuts and protein bars – just in case you can’t find anything diet-friendly in the fridge where you’re staying.
Remember, it’s the season to be jolly. Everyone should be able to indulge. Just don’t throw in the towel on your routine. Strive to stay active until things get back to normal. If you need more ideas for a healthy holiday, fill out the form below!
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