For most people, the holiday season is a fun time filled with celebrations, entertainment, friends, and families. However, it’s often tough to stay healthy during this time. Not only are you likely to be surrounded by delicious treats for nearly an entire month, but it’s also a very busy time of year. This means you might not be able to find as much time to exercise or prepare healthy meals.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a healthy holiday season. Here are some tips for celebrating the holidays while also maintaining good health.
Be Mindful of your Eating
It’s easy to eat without paying attention. Unfortunately, when you eat this way, you’ll likely to consume more than you usually would. This becomes more of a problem over the holiday season. As mentioned, this is a busy time. If you’re rushing around, it’s tempting to snack on the go and that can lead to overeating.
And the holiday season doesn’t just lead to snacking in the car, but it also becomes tempting to snack while you’re watching seasonal specials on TV, while you’re wrapping gifts, while you’re shopping online, while you’re talking to friends at a party, and in many other situations. All these snacks add up.
The solution is to be mindful of what you eat. Take a small portion and then move away from the snack table at the party, for instance. Then you’ll physically have to walk back over to get more, which causes you to pay greater attention to how much you’re eating.
If you’re watching a movie or wrapping gifts and want a snack, the solution is similar. Take a small amount, put the rest away, and stop once you’ve eaten your serving.
Choose your Favorites
There are a lot of great treats served around the holiday season. While it may not be a wise idea to eat absolutely everything you can get your hands on, that doesn’t mean you need to completely deprive yourself either.
One solution can be to choose a few of your favorite treats while ignoring all the rest. Pick only what you like the best or what means the most to you at this time of year, and ignore the other snacks. This way, you’ll still be able to enjoy some items that make the holidays feel special, but you won’t end up going overboard.
Eat Actual Meals
Again, the holidays are a busy time. They’re so busy, in fact, that you might feel like you don’t have time to eat actual meals. Unfortunately, skipping meals leads to increased snacking, and most people make more unhealthy food choices when they’re hungry.
The solution is to take the time to eat three real meals a day. You can make it easier to do this by preparing meal ingredients in advance. For example, chop up a bunch of vegetables and store them in containers in the fridge. They’ll become ingredients for several meals and that will save you time during the week. Another time saver is to cook extra when you make a meal. You can then save the leftovers for a quick meal the next day. This can help you save time and money in addition to improving your health.
It’s also a good idea to eat a meal before you attend a holiday gathering (unless it’s a dinner party, of course). Sometimes people feel that skipping a meal is a good idea since they’ll likely eat snacks at the party and they don’t want to consume too many overall calories. Unfortunately, this strategy usually backfires, and people end up eating more snacks than usual since they’re hungry.
Take Time for You
This is a busy and stressful time for everyone and stress can cause you to overeat, skip meals, drink more alcohol than usual, and generally live a less healthy lifestyle. To reduce the amount of stress you feel during the holidays, be sure to take some time for yourself. This could mean taking a long bath, watching a movie you enjoy, going for a relaxing walk, or having a chat with a friend. Even if you only have a short time to spare, make sure to do something for yourself this holiday season.
Staying hydrated is important all year round, but many people don’t drink enough water during the winter months. In the summer, it’s a lot easier to know that you should drink water since you’re probably hot and sweaty. In the winter, it’s easier for the importance of hydration to slip your mind.
Carry a water bottle with you when you’re out and about. This will help you remember to drink enough water and stay hydrated. If you’re drinking alcohol at a party, alternate between an alcoholic beverage and a glass of water. Not only will this keep you hydrated, but it can also prevent you from overdoing it.
It can sometimes feel difficult to stay healthy over the holidays, but it’s certainly possible. By being mindful, eating actual meals, staying hydrated, and taking some time for yourself, you can have a happy and healthy holiday season.