One holiday down, lots more to go! Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean your healthy habits have to be completely thrown out the window. You can still enjoy all that this time of year has to offer without compromising your health. Here are a few tips to help you.
1. Try to practice balance as much as possible when it comes to eating during the holiday season. Balance out the more indulgent meals with lots of salads, fruits, veggies, lean meats, healthy fats and whole grains. Fill up with nourishing foods when possible so you feel well throughout the winter. Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to completely let go of your healthy habits.
I used to pretty much eat my way though the holidays. Ok, if I’m being really honest it was more like November all the way through March. Then in March or April I’d start eating well again. Over the last several years I’ve slowly started to learn how to have more balance. Instead of feeling like it has to be all or nothing I’ve learned to enjoy indulging a little more during holiday activities and meals while eating nourishing meals and snacks the rest of the time. You can and should enjoy all the yummy foods this time of year has to offer but there are many days in between that you can nourish your body with a variety of healthy foods.
2. Get plenty of physical activity. It will help relieve stress, give you energy, and keep you motivated to continue practicing other healthy habits during the holidays.
3. Watch your sugar intake. Too much sugar can wreak havoc on your immune system. Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to attend any holiday get togethers without tons and tons of desserts. This is probably my biggest challenge. I love sweet treats and sometimes I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of them during this time of year. For this reason I try to limit my sugar on all the days we don’t have activities on our calendar. Then I feel free to indulge a little while with family and friends.
I have less energy, don’t sleep as well, and get more colds when I go overboard on sugary foods and the same goes for the kids. I watch their sugar intake during this time of year as well. There are so many fun activities during the holidays and it’s no fun to be sick!
4. Just Say No! Take some time and evaluate how many things you have going on and consider what is necessary and what you can skip. I’ve already said no to several things this season because I’m making sure we don’t overcommit ourselves. When families get too busy and things become stressful, meal planning and heathy meals are exchanged for fast food and less sleep.
5. Get plenty of sleep. Make sleep a priority, for both the adults and kids. The holidays get so busy and many people end up staying up way too late to accomplish extra holiday tasks. Figure out what really needs to be done and what you can skip. Getting plenty of sleep will help you have more energy and will help keep your immune system from getting run down.
6. Drink plenty of water. Make sure to continue drinking plenty of water during the winter. Many of us decrease our water consumption when the weather turns cooler because we aren’t as thirsty. Drinking plenty of water helps aid digestion and regulate our appetite.
Any thoughts? How do you maintain healthy habits throughout the winter holidays?