7 Tips For a Healthy Holiday Season
Updated: Feb 8, 2020
Ready or not, here it comes! That’s right, in just a few weeks, Halloween will arrive in all its sugar-coated glory and catapult us abruptly into the “most wonderful time of the year.” While the upcoming season can be wonderful, it can also throw your routine and your health out of whack. If you want to make sure you can have your pumpkin pie and not gain weight too, then be sure to stick to these tricks this holiday season, so you can happily enjoy some treats!
1. START YOUR DAY RIGHT
Let’s face it, most of the time your day doesn’t get easier, it gets harder. Especially around the holidays. Late nights at work, shopping trips, family time, and social events can all pop up out of nowhere. This is why it’s so important to take care of YOU first. Establish a morning routine that prioritizes your health first thing every morning!
For example, I drink at least 16 ounces of water upon waking. While my coffee brews I make a nutrient-dense, superfood smoothie, and then I go for a quick walk before I start work. In just 20 minutes I address nutrition, hydration, and exercise - all key aspects to maintaining a healthy lifestyle! If the rest of your day goes down the drain, you have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve already done something great for your body.
2. STAY HYDRATED
While desert-dwellers certainly understand the importance of staying hydrated, many don’t realize that increasing your water intake also increases your ability to lose weight!
Drinking at least 16 ounces of water before each meal can lead to a 44% greater rate of weight loss! Tack on increased water consumption throughout the rest of your day as well and it can lead to reduced body weight after just 3 months. At a minimum, be sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day, more if you sweat a lot or live in a hot or elevated climate.
3. EAT GOOD FOOD
Seems obvious but many people focus on what they shouldn’t eat, instead of what they should! Recent studies show that when it comes to health, “a low intake of healthy foods is the more important factor, rather than the high intake of unhealthy foods.” Sure, avoiding an extra slice of pie is great, but opting for a side of veggies with dinner is a smart move too!
If you find it hard to eat your veggies, try drinking them! (Here’s my favorite shake!). I take it a step further and add extra greens, fruit, and a fiber boost to make sure my body gets everything it needs EVERY morning. So even if I end up elbow deep in the Halloween candy stash later, my body still had it’s daily dose of nutrition!
4. REMEMBER THAT CONSISTENCY IS YOUR BFF
Did you eat too much candy? Drink too much eggnog? Don’t let that stop you from continuing your health journey. Consistency is key when it comes to long term success. It’s difficult to eat perfectly all the time so don’t let a late-night binge stop you from continuing healthy habits. Throwing in the towel completely is the worst thing you can do. You are allowed to slip-up, you are not allowed to quit!
5. DON’T RESTRICT, TAKE YOUR PICK
Instead of saying no to every treat you come across, pick and choose what is “worth” cheating with. You don't have to have every dessert at the party, pick one worth having and ENJOY it. Leave the rest behind. If they aren’t serving your favorite beverage at the cocktail party, stick to seltzer and make your favorite holiday cocktail when you get home. You’ll avoid embarrassing yourself at the office party and you won’t waste calories on a beverage you don't even like!
For many of us, restriction causes misery. If you can handle it, have a bite, take a sip, just don’t keep going back for more.
6. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
When it comes to food, many of our habits are so ingrained that we don’t think twice before we start munching. Practice mindfulness this holiday season. Before you eat or drink, think: How will this make me feel? Am I hungry? (...or just bored, lonely, tired, thirsty?). Address the root cause of the eating sesh before you start.
Also ask yourself, “How do I want to feel tomorrow?” And don’t just ask it, envision it. I call it “mental time travel” - picture yourself making good choices at the party, having confident conversations, waking up energized, motivated, and hydrated the next day.
7. DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF
If you are taking steps or making choices that promote a healthier life, it doesn’t matter how small the victory. We tend to downplay the good choices we make and highlight the bad ones. Even if you ate a salad for lunch, you’ll focus on the cookies you ate after dinner. Instead, focus on all the positive changes you are making and acknowledge every little success. Remind yourself that you are doing great. Positive thinking has an effect on your physical health!
That’s all for now, I hope these tips inspire you to have a healthy and happy holiday season! If you’re in need of a solid, simple plan to help you through the next 3 months, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Katie is an online health and wellness coach and certified 2B Mindset Nutrition Mentor. She uses her passion for health and adventure to help like-minded people achieve full-body wellness while living life to the fullest. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for nutrition and fitness