20 Tips for Staying Healthy This Holiday Season
Eat healthier during the holidays than you ever have before:
- Choose your indulgences purposefully. My clients know this is a big one for me. Please don’t feel like you have to white-knuckle your way through the holidays on a super strict diet. This strategy simply doesn’t work in the long term. Choose your indulgences with purpose, and eat them in moderation.
- Bring your own healthy dish to a party.
- Don’t go hungry. Whether you’re heading to the mall to shop, or over to a friend’s house for Friendsgiving, prep for success. Have a light, healthy meal or snack before heading out, so you don’t feel starving by the time you get there and can instead choose your foods wisely and with patience.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, alternate drinks with a glass of water and do so in moderation.
- Make sure to get a variety of food groups on your plate. It can be insanely easy this time of year to fill up on mainly white, ivory and tan foods (aka carbs & fatty foods). Make sure to get some variety in your life this season by choosing lean proteins and saving a place on your plate for both fruits & veggies.
- Keep healthy snacks accessible. A bowl of oranges, apples and bananas on my counter top make for the perfect on-the-go option when I’m feeling rushed. You will find small bags of mixed nuts and packets of oatmeal in my drawer at work. Have healthy options available and you will be more likely to fill up on the good stuff.
- Eat slowly and mindfully, and check in with yourself often. You’ll be able to stop eating when you are satisfied, and before you feel completely stuffed.
- Watch your portion size. For a great guide on portion sizes, check out this fantastic chart by Precision Nutrition.
Sneak in time for exercise during the busiest time of the year:
- Have a few short workouts on hand that you can do anywhere. Here’s a 20 minute HIIT workout you can do without any equipment at all. And a bonus workout you can complete with just one set of dumbbells!
- Wake up earlier. There. I said it. Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and stop hitting snooze a million times.
- Make it fun. Sign up for that new exercise class you’ve been wanting to try. Ask a friend to join you. Or you can go to the gym first, then do something festive right after!
- Go for a walk after a big meal.
- Ask a friend who is serious about staying healthy if you can keep each other accountable. Check in weekly with one another for support!
- Break up your to-do list with 10 minute bouts of exercise. Your workout doesn’t have to be done all at once for it to count. Imperfectly complete is better than not done at all.
Stay sane through the holiday chaos with these mental health tips & tricks:
- Put yourself first. When you do, you’ll feel better, you’ll be able to make decisions that benefit you and those you love, and to be completely honest, you’ll be much more fun to be around!
- Make sleep a priority. Getting 7-8 hours of shuteye goes a long way for your health.
- Manage stress. Meditate, spend time journaling, go for a long walk, take a hot shower or bath.
- Don’t overload yourself. As much as some people are going to hate me for saying this, it needs to be said: you manage your own schedule and your own life. When you’re feeling overloaded, you have to learn to say “no.” Start now.
- Remind yourself what the season is truly about: spending quality time with family and friends, and celebrating together. The rest is, in all honesty, not necessary. Focus on what’s important. The rest will turn out just fine (it always does).
- Ditch the guilt. Don’t beat yourself up over a night of indulgences. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Today is a new day, and you can choose to live a healthier lifestyle right this very instant. You’ve got this.