The holiday season is a time of love, joy and gratitude, creating lasting memories with family and friends. But for some of us the holidays are filled with anxiety and stress. Even for those who love family get togethers, holiday shopping, finances, and spending time with relatives can wear you down. Naturally, when stress hits at holiday time, resisting holiday treats and over eating can be challenging! It is so easy to turn to sugary treats and alcohol for moral support.
It’s just a fact, most of us are inclined to overindulge over the holidays and push off worrying about our waistlines until the New Year. After all its a New Year so a New You, right?
Here’s the thing, eating not so great foods has a profound effect on the inner workings of our bodies that go way beyond a few extra pounds on the scale.
Sugar, alcohol, processed packaged foods and heavy carbs have little to no nutrition and negatively impacts our hormones, gut health, sleep, mood, and our immune system. Our bodies deeply feel the effects of these nutritionally void inflammatory foods on every level.
I know, It’s not realistic to pass on all of the holiday treats. But, If you care for your body with love and kindness most of the time, then you can probably handle some of the not so great stuff in moderation over the holidays.
But, why wait? Get a jump start on The New Year with A New You and Healthy Habits today! Setting yourself up for success and developing some healthy new habits now will help you enjoy this special time of year without feeling like you need to crash diet as soon as 2020 is here.
Have A Plan
Eat consistently throughout the day, don’t skip meals to save up for the feast and try to eat close to your usual meal times. If you skip meals it will be harder to manage your blood sugar and your appetite, then you will be more likely to overeat. If you know that you will be eating later than usual, eat a light meal before hand with enough protein, vegetables and whole grains to keep you satisfied all night long, this will keep your blood sugar balanced improve digestion, curb cravings and reduce the amount you’re eating overall.
Sharing Is Caring
Bring a healthy dish along to share if you are a guest. When you bring your own healthy food, you can rest easy that there’s something there for you to eat, guilt-free.
Make Healthy Choices
Take a small plate of the foods you love and then move away from the buffet table. If you taste something and don’t love it, don’t eat it! Fill at least 1/2 of your plate with high fiber nutritious foods; aka vegetables and leafy greens. Be mindful of portion sizes of your favorites, as the first few bites of any food is what’s packed with the most pleasure.
Create Mindful Healthy Habits
Eat slowly and mindfully to give your stomach enough time to signal your brain, telling you that you are full. Don’t graze, nibble or munch mindlessly while cooking. This will lead you to be full by the time dinner is served and will set you up to overeat. To avoid grazing, sit down while you eat anything , and make sure that all of the food you eat is on a plate. This will help you be more mindful of what you are eating and you will enjoy what you are eating even more.
Keep That Body Moving
This is a busy time of year and when we have a lot on our plate, our physical activity can get overlooked. Being active daily is your secret holiday weapon. Get outside in the fresh air for a walk, hit the gym, dance or just do something physical that you love. Physical activity will help reduce holiday stress and burn extra calories during this most stressful time of year. Always
Time for Self Care
The holidays are full of family and friends which can be fun but very stressful. Remember during this season of giving, to give to yourself. Go for a walk, yoga, meditate, take a bath, read or listen to an inspirational book to feed your soul. Take a few minutes of quiet every day to recharge and refresh.
Sleep Is A Priority
Sleep always gets sacrificed when we are more social and staying out later. Not enough sleep can make it harder to maintain healthy eating, movement and self care . When you are sleep deprived you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high fat, high sugar foods . Try for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night to guard against mindless eating. Sticking to your sleep schedule will improve your quality of sleep both now and after the holidays.
Water Is Everything
Dehydration not only leaves you thirsty, it affects your health and mental focus. Drinking water first thing in the morning is critical to kick start your body’s metabolic process. Staying hydrated throughout the day and especially over the holidays can help curb cravings and even control weight gain. Drink plenty of water to re-hydrate, after you drink alcohol. Water also hydrates your skin cells and hydration is one of the keys to younger looking skin. Your skin is an organ and just like the rest of your body it needs hydration to function properly and keeps you looking and feeling youthful. If you are traveling, water helps prevent the nasty germs that make us sick by lubricating our membranes and flushing toxins out of our system.
Post Party, Shift To Recovery Mode
To overcome that “food hangover” feeling that follows a holiday overeating, get back to a clean eating schedule. Begin your day with lemon water and eat a good breakfast. The rest of the day, avoid refined carbs and drink lots of water, at least 8 to 10 glasses a day to help flush out sodium and toxins from eating those not so great foods. Fill up on clean foods like fruits, vegetables whole grains and protein. No need to punish yourself the next day and start a crazy diet or cleanse. Have gratitude for the moment you enjoyed and take new opportunities to change your wellness habits. Just move forward with healthier choices.
Remember that its always progress above perfection, so if you find that you got caught up in then moment and ate treats you promised yourself you wouldn’t, forgive yourself, move on and get back to healthy eating and move forward. But above all, have gratitude for this magical time a year. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, if you slip up, get right back to healthy eating with your next meal.
As an integrative health, wellness and lifestyle coach, my practice focuses on real food, mindfulness and creating sustainable lasting change. No diets, No deprivation. Simple mindful eating habits ensure that you invest your time and energy in celebrating the season without guilt or regret. Give yourself or someone you love the gift of Radiant Health and meet A New You in 2020. www.rebeccasradiantwellness.com