The holiday season can be a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. However, it can also be a challenging period for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. With tempting treats, festive feasts, and disrupted routines, it's easy to let wellness take a backseat. But fear not! In this guide, we'll explore practical tips to help you thrive through the holidays by covering everything from travel and nutrition to managing sugar and alcohol intake and ensuring you get enough rest. If you'd like some extra support, join us for a FREE Friendsgiving Group, click HERE for details.
Smart Travel Strategies: Traveling during the holidays is often inevitable, but it doesn't have to sabotage your health goals. Personally, I drive almost 3,000 miles each year from Colorado to Florida to deliver my mom to her winter residence. You bet your bottom that I have to do a lot of deep breathing and mindful planning to make this trip a success. Plan ahead by packing healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, and whole foods (I always grill some chicken and make some healthy tuna salad ahead of time) to avoid succumbing to the temptation of airport or fast/fake junk food. Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle, and try to incorporate physical activity during layovers or rest stops to keep your energy levels up. I always travel with a resistance band that I tie to the headrest for simple exercises while driving.
Mindful Nutrition: The holiday table can be a battlefield of rich, calorie-laden dishes. Practice mindful eating by savoring each bite and listening to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Opt for smaller portions, load up on colorful vegetables, and choose lean proteins. I am a big believer in Intermittent Fasting (IF) so I keep my eating window between 11am and 6pm. By restricting food, our bodies will more quickly and efficiently tap our fat stores for energy. While glucose from carbohydrates is our most direct fuel source, we burn fat for energy when glucose isn’t available. This happens even more during times of food deprivation. Our ability to store fat is unlimited. IF can be done in a variety of ways. See some of my other blog posts that talk about IF.
Navigating the Sugar Maze: Sweet treats are synonymous with the holidays, but it's essential to manage your sugar intake. Choose desserts wisely, opting for smaller portions or sharing with others. Consider healthier alternatives, such as fruit-based desserts or dark chocolate. Additionally, be mindful of hidden sugars in drinks and processed foods. Moderation is key to enjoying the festive delights without derailing your health goals.
Balancing Alcohol Consumption: While toasting to the season is part of the holiday spirit, excessive alcohol intake can take a toll on your health. Pace yourself by alternating alcoholic beverages with water, and be mindful of portion sizes. Choose lighter drink options, such as wine or light beer, and consider diluting cocktails with sparkling water. Setting a limit and sticking to it will help you enjoy the festivities without compromising your well-being.
Prioritizing Quality Sleep: With busy schedules and social gatherings, sleep often takes a backseat during the holidays. However, quality sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being. Create a consistent sleep routine, even when away from home. Diminish screen time before bedtime, create a relaxing environment, and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. A well-rested body is better equipped to handle the physical and emotional demands of the season.
Staying healthy during the holidays is about balance and mindful choices. By incorporating these tips into your festive season, you can navigate the celebrations while prioritizing your well-being. Remember, the holidays are a time to enjoy, and taking care of yourself allows you to fully embrace the joy and festivities without the guilt. Cheers to a healthy and happy holiday season and we hope you join us for our free Friendgiving Group happening the week prior to Thanksgiving!