"Healthy holidays" is not an oxymoron. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You don't need to wait until 11:59 p.m. on December 31st to be healthy. It is possible to enjoy the holidays and splurge, and be healthy at the same time!
These are a 5 easy steps you can take during the holidays to stay healthy:
1. DRINK WATER
Drink your wine. Drink your whisky. Have champaign. I know will! But please include plenty of water during the festivities to stay hydrated and help your body naturally eliminate the toxins you'll be accumulating during the holidays. Drink water before meals and one glass for every cocktail or alcoholic beverage.
2. DON'T SKIP BREAKFAST
Be aware of the "I want to safe room" for the larger meal. When we skip breakfast, we tend to overindulge in sugary and fatty foods because we allow our sugar levels to drop. When we're starving and our sugar levels are low, we're prone to make unhealthy decisions. Eat a good breakfast that's high in protein and fiber.
3. EAT SLOWLY
This is a hard one for me. I eat too fast. It's something I've been working on. When we're surrounded by delicious food, we eat too quickly and get up for seconds. Try eating slowly. Be present. Enjoy each bite. You'll get full faster and avoid the extra calories.
4. INCLUDE LOTS OF GREENS IN YOUR MEALS
Water and eating plenty of greens are my favorite ones. Greens and vegetables have nutrients and are high in fiber that help you feel fuller longer, so before heading to the buffet or table, fill your plate with lots of veggies and greens. Spinach, kale, brussels sprouts and broccoli, for example, are also high in antioxidants that will support your body's efforts to fight toxins and oxidants you may get from alcohol, cigarettes, air pollution, etc.
Move! Bring your heart rate up! Exercising during the holidays will help you make healthier decisions during the festivities and help you burn the extra calories. It's also a good way to strengthen your "willpower" or "habit" muscle, which will makes it easier to restart a healthy routine after the holidays.
6. BONUS: DON'T RESTRICT! ENJOY!
Get away from the mindset of restriction or dieting. It simply doesn't work and will probably ruin your holidays. When we restrict, we can't make choices. Our brains are rebels by nature. That's why diets aren't sustainable, because they eventually feel like a punishment. So enjoy the holidays following the steps mentioned above rather that depriving yourself.
These are just a few of the things you can do to stay healthy during the holidays. The advantages? You won't gain weight, it will be easier to go back to your routine after the holidays are over, and, above all, you'll feel great and proud to be taking care of yourself.
If you want to learn more about how to live a healthy, happy life, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org