Happy December- it’s officially my favorite season and the most wonderful time of the year! During the holiday seasons it’s easy to get out of your normal exercise and nutrition routine, but it doesn’t have to complete derail you. Here are 5 tips to help you stay healthy through the holidays:
1. Use the 80/20 Rule
Focus on choosing nutrient dense foods the majority or 80% of the time and give yourself a little leeway for some foods you really enjoy 20% of the time. Make sure you are getting some fruits, veggies, and protein on your plate- the more colorful the better! You can also make healthier ingredient swaps for your favorite recipes like maple syrup or honey instead of refined sugar, brown rice pasta instead of regular, etc.
2. Don’t Skip Meals!
Focus on eating balanced meals and snacks so that you don’t get too hungry later. Make smart decisions but don’t over restrict yourself. This will make your healthy lifestyle more realistic and not like you need to throw in the towel! If you eat a little too much one day, don’t punish yourself or just let that one bad day turn into weeks of unhealthy eating. Just start fresh the next day with healthy choices!
3. Plan Your Workout in Advance
Make a plan beforehand and stick to it. If you have a workout on the calendar, you’re much more likely to do it. It also makes you much more effective when you have free time to workout.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”
Incorporate simple body weight exercises that you can easily do anywhere such as lunges, planks, and pushups. If you’re traveling, consider investing in some resistance bands or ankle weights that are easy to pack. Try to do your workout first thing in the morning. Whether it’s outside doing a home workout, run, or at the gym…get active! This will get your body going and ready to make healthy choices to replenish itself.
4. Be Aware of Liquid Calories
Many holiday drinks such as alcoholic drinks, sugary coffees, hot chocolate, and ciders are full of sugar and empty calories. If you’re in the mood for a holiday drink let yourself indulge but also make sure you are drinking enough water and consider making a healthy twist on your favorite beverage! For my favorite Starbucks order, I ask for half of the syrup or sugar-free syrup with non-fat milk to slash over 100 calories!
5. Take Ten
It can take a moment for your body to register that you’re full. To avoid that uncomfortable and overstuffed feeling, eat until you’re about 80% full and take ten minutes before going back for seconds. This allows your body time to process how full you are- the goal is satisfied, not stuffed.
6. Water and Stress Management
Drink a couple glasses of water before you sit down to eat your holiday meal! Water helps your body control cravings and differentiate between hunger and thirst. Aim to drink at least 64 oz of water everyday which is approximately 8 glasses.
Also making sure you are getting enough rest during the holidays is so important! With all the busyness of the seasons it’s easy be stressed and to not get enough sleep. Priortize some time for yourself and make sure you are getting adequate rest…you’ll notice a huge difference on your mood and energy levels!
7. Focus on the Real Reason for The Season
Don’t beat yourself up over an over-induglence or two! Instead of focusing on the food, refocus your mindset to being more present with your loved ones. Let yourself enjoy the holiday season!
Sending my love and wishing you a very happy & healthy Holiday Season and New Year!