Top 10 Tips to Survive the Holidays

healthy eating healthy living meditation mindful movement real food sleep stress-free Dec 06, 2023

Food and social get-togethers play a major role in celebrating the holidays. 

It’s wonderful to “break bread” with those near and dear, but that celebratory environment can also create challenges if you are in the process of changing your relationship with food (and perhaps alcohol). 

It's a time of joy, celebration, and delicious food, but it can also be a season of indulgences and stress. By focusing on your plan for food and lifestyle, you can keep your body in balance and enjoy the festivities while feeling your best.

Top 10 Tips to Survive the Holidays

  • Prioritize Balanced Meals.  It's easy to get caught up in the holiday rush, leading to irregular eating choices. Do your best to eat Real Food and minimize the rest!  Incorporate a variety of vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates into your diet. This will help stabilize your blood sugar levels, as well as your mood, and keep your energy steady.
  • Fast before a feast. Most people aren’t tempted to overeat protein, rather it's the bread, pasta, or cookies, or sweets, which, of course, are all present at holiday gatherings. Try taking a “vacation” from high-carb foods (or whatever trigger food is the culprit) for a day or two before the event, and then allow yourself to enjoy the festivities!
  • Plan Ahead.  Before attending holiday gatherings, consider having a healthy snack or meal to curb your appetite. This can prevent impulsive, unhealthy choices when faced with tempting holiday treats.
  • Support Your Digestive System. The holiday season often brings rich and indulgent foods that can challenge your digestive system. Incorporate digestive-supportive foods like ginger, fennel, and probiotic-rich options to help ease digestion.
  • Mindful Eating.  Practice mindful eating by savouring every bite and paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. This can prevent overeating and help you enjoy the flavours of the season without the guilt.
  • Hydration.  Staying well-hydrated is crucial for overall health and can help prevent overeating. Don't forget to drink water throughout the day, and consider herbal teas or infused water for a festive twist.  And be mindful of alcohol consumption!
  • Set yourself up for success. Ask the host if you can contribute to the festivities and then bring something you know you will enjoy.  This could be a dessert, appetizer or side that will fill your plates (and bellies) while being dishes that add to the host’s meal plan.  Bread and dessert are always welcome.  Plus, if you make it or select it, you won’t regret it the next day. People are usually amazed at how great a low sugar, gluten-free cake tastes!  Ditto for dips. You can never go wrong with bringing a veggie tray and a couple of healthy dips like hummus or guacamole 
  • Stay Active.  Don't forget to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.  If you’re consuming more sweet or starchy foods, also commit to spending more time at the gym or doing whatever you can to burn off some of that extra fuel. Get outside and enjoy winter–skiing, cross country, snowshoeing, winter hiking, etc.
  • Stress Management.  The holidays can be a stressful time, which can impact your health. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga into your daily routine. Prioritizing self-care can make a significant difference in how you feel.
  • Sleep.  A good night's sleep is essential for your body's ability to function optimally. Make sleep a priority, and establish a consistent sleep schedule to ensure you are well-rested.

The holiday season is about enjoying time with loved ones and making cherished memories. By prioritizing your nutritional and overall well-being, you can fully participate in the festivities while keeping your health in check.

Wishing you a joyful and healthy holiday season!

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