Six Simple Tips to Stay Healthy Through the Holiday Season
Don’t Just Survive the Holidays. Thrive Through Them…
Still battling a post-Thanksgiving Tofurky trance? A mashed potato murk? A pumpkin pie high? Instead of waiting for January to climb back up on the healthy wagon and out of the food fog, why not start now? Mitigate the mayhem of the season and bump up the body love fest with these 6 simple tips:
- Persist with fitness. It is all too easy to let your routine slip to the sidelines with traveling, festivities, and busier schedules that are typical this time of year. But that is why it is even more important to stay the course and squeeze it in. However you can, make it happen. Turn social gatherings into bonding fit fests by going for a walk or taking an exercise class together, or doing yoga in the living room before a meal or first thing in the morning. Social support is superb in stick-to-it-ness. Try literally entering your workout onto your calendar weeks (or at least days) ahead of time to ensure it happens.
- Start with fruits or veggies at every meal. Since fruits and veggies both offer the fewest calories per gram than any other foods and are high in satiating fiber, these are the ideal items to preferentiate at every meal. Studies have found that starting your meal with a piece of fruit, salad, or soup decreases overall caloric intake at a meal.
- Prioritize the 6 daily 3’s:
- 3 servings of leafy green vegetables (1 serving equals 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked and include options such as asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, dandelion greens, green beans, kale, any type of lettuce, sea vegetables, etc.)
- 3 servings of legumes (1 serving equals 1/2 cup of any bean, lentil, pea, or soy foods)
- 3 servings of fruits (1 serving equals 1 medium piece or 1 cup)
- 3 servings nuts and seeds (1 servings equals 1/2 ounce or 30 grams)
- 3 servings other colored vegetables (1 serving equals 1/2 cup)
- 3 servings exercise (1 serving equals 20 minutes of activity)
- Predict, plan, and prepare. Know where your next meal will be and make arrangements to have healthy options wherever that may be. Traveling? Here are some Healthy Travel Tips. Dining out? Here are my Top 5 Tips for Dining Out. Visiting friends or family? Ask to bring a wholesome dish or two for yourself and to share.
- Opt out instead of pushing portion control. Sometimes just saying “no” is so much easier. Otherwise, that first bite of hyperpalatable food stimulates the hormonal cascade that kicks in and seduces you into “just one more bite”…and “one last one”…and on and on down that rabbit hole.
- Discover and experiment with healthier indulgences. Swap date paste or pure maple syrup for sugar in recipes, try aquafaba instead of egg whites in meringue-like dishes or other egg substitutes in any type of recipe, and use fruit and vegetable purées instead of oil.
Most importantly, embrace this special time of year and savor the love that comes from taking care of yourself psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually as well as physically…
Wishing you a very healthy, happy holiday season!