Ah, the holidays! Trimming trees, decking the halls, shopping ’til you drop and traveling home for Christmas. With social engagements and soirees galore, time flies during the holiday season – a mere four to six weeks depending on how you slice it – and there’s never enough time to get it all done, let alone take care of yourself, so you can be your merriest! Sleep, exercise and eating healthy take a backseat like your narcoleptic uncle at the kids’ Holiday nativity play.
What if you could stay on-track this holiday, enjoy without going off the rails, and skip the crash dieting come January 1st?
Try a few of these hacks to keep your health and your holiday spirit intact this season!
Holiday Health Hacks
Eat before you go out.
Think about what happens when you arrive in front of food when you’re famished.
You eat everything.
You naturally gravitate towards the most satisfying. It’s biology; your brain seeks out the fastest energy, which likely equates to the most calorie-dense, least nutritious options. Pies, cookies and casseroles are way too enticing to pass up at that point. Now consider that it takes your brain about 20 minutes to recognize you’re full (even longer if you’re at all sleep deficient). By that time, you’ve had a second plate and are feeling pangs of guilt and acid reflux!
To prevent overindulging, have a snack or light meal before you show up. Keep snacks at work or in your car to ensure you have options available.
Bring your own healthy snacks, sides, desserts and cocktails with you when you can.
Arriving with gluten free goods, colorful steamed veggies, a bottle of champagne or your favorite salad in tow ensures a few healthy options that you’ll enjoy are among those available at the party.
What host or hostess ever turned down contributions to the tablescape?
Eat your last meal three hours before bedtime.
Giving your body time to digest and burn through that last meal aids in sleep, cellular repair and weight management. If your body’s resources are devoted to digesting your food, you miss out on the other important functions that take place during this critical time, like removal of waste in the brain, storing of memories and information and detoxification.
Get enough sleep!
During the holidays (or any peak season), you’re managing more responsibilities, expectations, demands on your time and energy, let alone traveling. You’re going to be stretched more thinly and more depleted.
Be sure to get enough sleep! Listen to your body for signs you need more Zzzz’s, like sugar cravings, lower tolerances for annoyances and stress, munchies, reduced control of your emotions (quicker to yell or cry than normal).
Take care of yourself! If you have any questions on how to navigate healthy habits this Holiday, drop us a line below, and feel free to share this article with your friends and family who need helpful hints, too!
Cheers to your health and happiness this Holiday and all year!