The holiday season is a time to relax, spend some quality time with family and friends, take a break from the chaos of the year and indulge a little. At least, that’s how we would love the holiday season to play out. But, the reality is shopping at the mall is a nightmare. Finding the right gift is a headache. And most likely we spent most of the year indulging in delicious treats and ignoring the gym a little more than we should.
Instead of using the holidays as a reason to further spiral out of control, use the holidays as a time to challenge yourself to get healthier. For those of you who actually had a healthy year, don’t let the holidays break you! Here’s how-to keep healthy during the holidays.
No, I didn’t say “eat” everything, I said “taste.” Just because you’re being healthy doesn’t mean you can’t try a little bit of everything. You will have a harder, more miserable time if you deprive yourself of what you really want. Now, this doesn’t mean fill up your plate with as much as your stomach can handle. This means portion control. Have a tiny cup of hot cocoa, have a bite size portion of a couple pies, put a little bit of stuffing on your plate and don’t sweat it! Think of your plate as a small sample platter and your stomach will get full without you wanting to loosen a button on your pants. You will be satisfied without overdoing it!
I know portion control sounds like it is easier said than done. Here’s a little trick; drink lots of water! Drinking water sounds like a health cliché, but there is a reason it is always the number one thing to add to your list of ways to stay healthy. Drinking water throughout the day not only keeps your body hydrated, but it also helps keep your tummy full without having to snack all the time. It also helps keep your digestive system functioning properly and keeping all the toxins and flushed out of your body. You will instantly feel better and you won’t even worry about trying to fight hunger or binge eat.
Watch the Alcohol Intake
Yes, the holidays are a time to celebrate and let loose. However, you don’t need to get drunk in order to do so. Plus, that hangover the next day will make you regret any over-consumption of alcohol you had at your holiday party. Instead drink in moderation and avoid the super high calorie drinks. That means no fruity, sugar filled drinks; no matter how festive they look. Also, avoid beer, it is high in calories and is hard on the stomach. Stick to clear drinks like a gin and tonic with a splash of lime. These drinks are low in calories and will still give you a buzz without overdoing it.
Baby, it’s cold outside…so get warmed up by getting active! Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean exercising goes out the window. Participate on some winter friendly activities. Plan a snowboarding trip, go skiing, or go hiking! If you are more of a home body, use your winter break to try some yoga! Getting active during the holiday season makes you more likely to stay active through the new year. Don’t wait until your new year’s resolution kicks in and don’t take a break if you have already kept a steady exercising routine!
Relax and Enjoy
Not only is it important to maintain physical health over the holidays, but also your mental health. The stress of shopping, cooking, or the pressure of seeing your relatives doesn’t have to ruin your holiday break. Remember, the holidays are not about the gift, it’s not about the food, or the decorations. It’s about spending quality time with your loved ones, showing them that you love them and at the same time reflecting on yourself. Make time for yourself to relax, enjoy your time with your friends and family. Stop stressing about the details and enjoy the event. At the end of the day material things are just that, just material. What matters is the memories, so make good ones and don’t stress yourself out!