How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays
by Stephanie Koathes Dec 2, 2019
Healthy habits often fall by the wayside over the holidays. We eat more, drink more, go out more often, and exercise less.
It can be hard to stay healthy during the holiday season, but these tips will help you.
• When heading out to a holiday dinner, contribute a healthy dish. Not only will you be helping out your host, but you’ll also be sure that there’s something good for you on the menu. Consider bringing a nutritious vegetable dish.
• At dinner, chow down on veggie dishes first. This will make sure you get those good-for-you vegetables in first before you get full on richer options. Most vegetables are high in nutrients and filling fibre.
• Savour your meals. Don’t eat your meals at lightning speed. Take the time to chew and enjoy your food. It takes your brain at least 20 minutes to signal that you’re full, and when you eat super-fast, you can end up overdoing it.
• Many of us travel during the December holiday season. Travelling is wonderful, but it can expose you to all sorts of germs, especially during colder months. If you’re flying out over the festive season, use disinfecting wipes on the armrests of your seat, the seatbelt buckle, tray, and anything else you might touch. Taking this little precaution will cut down on your risk of picking up something from the person who was there before you.
• Rest! There’s nothing wrong with staying in and resting. Sleep helps to keep your body running optimally, which is key for fighting off any potential cold or flu viruses.
• It can be hard to find the motivation to work out over the holidays, but you must get some activity in. Plan your workouts around your holiday schedule and break them up into shorter bursts if you find your usual gym session too long. Instead of working out for an hour, try a quick HIIT session, or go for walks in the morning and evening. If you’re travelling, look for workouts you can do without any equipment and in small spaces. You might want to throw in some extra cardio to offset the indulgences of the season.
• Move in new ways. Not motivated to go to the gym? Try something new. Take a gymnastics class, go for hikes, swim, etc. Just make sure to move.
• Don’t skip meals before a big holiday dinner, to ‘save up’ your calories. This will lead to you overeating and making poor food choices.
• Before heading out, eat a healthy snack to get your appetite under control.
• When choosing foods at a holiday dinner, fill half your plate with low-calorie items, such as green salads and lean protein dishes. This forces you to take smaller portions of more calorie-dense dishes.
• Choose your drinks wisely. Cocktails tend to be high in calories. To lighten the calorie load, choose a glass of wine, a light beer or a glass of champagne.
• Enjoy your desserts mindfully and in moderation. Watch your portion sizes. If you’re sampling several sweet treats at a dinner or event, take only small amounts of each.
Don’t feel guilty about changes in your diet and exercise over the holidays. Life is for living! However, staying active and enjoying holiday foods in moderation will help you to feel good while enjoying the season.