It’s that time of year again. Everywhere we turn there are calorie-filled holiday treats and goodies, and with it being the season for office gatherings and holiday parties, temptation (and overindulgence) are sure to follow. The days leading up to Christmas and New Year’s are filled with holiday cookies, gift baskets, and decadent treats and cocktails.
While the time with family and friends is wonderful, holiday weight gain is not. Not to mention the moodiness and post-holiday blues that many people experience from the indulgence of sugary foods and drinks. As we get older, it can take a bigger toll on us health-wise as well - and get harder to bounce back from.
So how do you balance your health and well-being with enjoying the holiday season? We’ve got 10 tips to help you do just that!
Moderation. Don’t let December be a free for all; instead, choose your indulgences carefully. Be picky, and skip the things that aren’t really special. When you do choose to indulge, do so slowly and mindfully, really savor your chosen treat.
Healthier alternatives. Pinterest and Instagram make it easy to find creative recipes that have lower sugar, fruit alternatives, and other healthier and/or lighter takes on festive treats. For the really special stuff you can enjoy the real thing, but mixing in some lighter versions of recipes can help you cut back on calories.
Extra healthy eating in between parties and events. Think lean proteins, greens, healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, and grass-fed meats.
Support gut health. Excess sugar, wheat, alcohol, chemicals and processed foods can wreak havoc on gut health, which in turn causes issues with neurotransmitter functioning. Translation: think cravings, poor mood, irritability, brain fog – and digestive issues. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like kombucha tea, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Another great addition for digestive health (plus hair and nails) is bone broth.
Remember to take your vitamins. Vitamin D levels typically drop in winter, and sugar and stress deplete magnesium levels, making it that much more important to make sure you have quality vitamins to make up the different. Also consider omega 3 fatty acids in addition to your multi-vitamin. Always consult with a doctor or nutritionist to ensure you are getting the right balance, especially if you suspect you might be deficient in something.
Hydrate. Did you know that dehydration can make you feel hungrier, plus negatively impact mood and energy? If you’re going to a holiday party or other special events, try alternating cocktails with a glass of water to stay hydrated.
Plan ahead. This goes for nutrition as well as workouts. Working out is a surefire way to stay on track with your goals plus help you manage stress, so be sure to schedule in this much needed self-care time. Make meal time easier by planning, shopping, and preparing healthy healthy options ahead of time. Your weight and wellbeing will thank you!
Don’t skip meals. Overindulgence isn’t a time for punishment, rather, get back on track with healthy eating and keep moving forward. This will not only support your weight and fitness goals but will help you avoid wreaking havoc on your metabolism and mood.
Manage stress. Did you know that high stress levels can drive you to overeat? Make time to destress, whether it’s working out, yoga, meditation, going for a walk outside, enjoying a hobby, or whatever else makes you feel more zen.
Exercise. Don’t push pause or wait ’til New Year’s to get on track with exercise. For a perfect balance of motivation, accountability, strength training, cardio, and fun, try one of our Altamonte Springs Group Fitness Classes!
We offer virtual and in-person options at our Altamonte Springs gym, including fitness, nutrition, and accountability coaching!