4 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON
With the start of this holiday season, comes a warm and cozy time full of family, friends, delicious food, and great memories, and also comes to the hardest challenge of the year: maintain your healthy lifestyle habits. Festive parties and celebrations, and the stress the holidays can bring, can mean a hit to your overall well-being during the holiday season. With the right mindset and preparation, keeping healthy while still enjoying yourself during the holidays will be much easier than you think. Here we describe four helpful tips for staying on the healthy track this season.
1. EAT BETTER
The indulgent and decadent recipes adorn Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. On average, people gain about 2 pounds and experience increases in blood pressure, body fat, and resting heart during the holiday season. Follow the diets we stick to the rest of the year to stay mentally and physically healthy throughout the holiday season.
Control your portion sizes
Overeating has been related to portion size and can cause unhealthy weight gain. Maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding overindulging in holiday treats become more and more important. Eat small snacks during the day, and have three medium meals instead of three extra-large ones. Choose wisely at the foot table, use the small-sized plates at each meal. These methods will improve your digestion and reduce the amount you are eating.
Make your own festive foods
Making your own festive foods instead of eating canned, processed, and premade foods can ensure that you are eating much healthier. Sturdy showed that increased consumption of high-fat and high-sugar has led to more food-addicted people who are easier to gain weight. You can control the consumption of fat, sodium, and sugar intake by making the dishes yourself.
Bring / Prepare something healthy to the table
If you are going to a holiday party, bring a healthy dish to your gathering. In this way, you will have at least one healthy option on the dinner table and have the opportunity to share your healthy lifestyle with your family and friends. If you are holding a party, prepare healthy menus and food recipes that are good for both your guests and yourself.
Try a Mediterranean diet / Practice mindful eating
To eat healthy over the holidays, consider trying a Mediterranean diet that focuses on nutritious foods including fruits, vegetables, fish, and olive oil. Studies have shown eating nutritious Mediterranean foods can lower the risk of lung cancer, prevent weakness and loss of muscle mass, and reduce blood pressure. Or try mindful eating to keep your stomach connected with your brain when you eat. Experiencing eating in this way can help you savor the moment and the food, and encourage the feeling of fullness and satisfaction.
2. RETHINK DRINKS
People tend to drink more alcohol on special occasions, and the holiday season is no exception. Having a toast with your family and friends pushes the holiday in full swing, but can quickly ruin a plan for healthy holiday living. Know what you are drinking and familiarize yourself with the actual serving size of alcoholic beverages, to stay on track while still enjoying yourself during the holidays.
Consider alternating alcoholic drinks
Instead of indulging in alcoholic-filled drinks, consider replacing alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic alternatives such as sparkling water with lime. Try some alcohol-free drink recipes and make your own fun and festive beverage that your whole family and all your guests can enjoy.
Avoid binge drinking
Heavy drinking increases the risk of heart disease. It is reported that men and women who were over-drinking had enlarged left ventricles compared to lighter drinkers. Moderate and responsible alcohol consumption during the holiday season will help maintain health and lower the risk of disease. Avoiding excess drinking at holiday parties is a way of staying healthy over the holidays.
3. SLEEP WELL
A busy holiday schedule like holiday parties and celebrations with family and friends can interfere with a proper sleep schedule. Enough sleep can provide energy for you to choose healthy foods and to be physically active during the holidays. Making sleep a priority and improving sleep quality are important to overall health.
Do not stay up too late
Studies have shown people who prefer to do activities in the evening rather than in the morning, receive less sleep and are more likely to be linked to increased weight gain and risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who prefer mornings.
Maintain a consistent sleep routine
Stick to your typical sleep schedule will improve your sleep quality now and after the holidays. Irregular sleep patterns can lead to poor sleep quality, fatigue, poor eating habits, feeling sleepy during the day, a higher risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, stress, and depression. Avoid this by going to bed and waking up as close to the same time as usual.
4. MOVE MORE
Physical activity is one of the essentials for a healthy lifestyle. The holiday season is a busy time of year. Many people often have less time to work out over the holidays. Limited physical activity has been linked to many diseases including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and can also cause weight gain. It is important to stay active this time of year.
Go for a walk
Instead of napping after your Thanksgiving and Christmas feast, taking a walk with your family will bring several distinct benefits such as helping burn off the calories, boosting digestion, and relieving the stress, good for your physical and mental health, and can contribute to weight loss.
Keep doing exercise
Maintaining a consistent fitness routine can be especially important for managing weight gain during the holiday season. Researchers showed that higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness led to longer lifespans. If you found you have less time to exercise, set yourself a fixed time to work out and at least three days of the week to do it. If you feel you do not have enough time to go to the gym, be creative about sneaking in some ways to add exercise time to your festivities at home.
Are you ready to start the holiday with the right foot? Despite holiday parties and busy schedules, maintaining healthy lifestyle habits is important over the holiday season. To stay on a healthy track this time of year, people should maintain healthy eating habits, be conscious of alcohol intake, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. Enjoy the festivities with families and friends while keeping your healthy habits going with these tips.