Are you worried that your health and fitness will go for a toss this festive season? As the holiday season is approaching, let us discuss some secrets to staying fit during the holiday season. Now, healthy holidays might seem impossible for many because holidays are when we tend to let go of our healthy eating habits and indulge in our loved savories. From now on and until New Year’s day, our schedules will most probably be filled with traveling, family obligations, and festive outings with all sorts of delicious treats. It is no surprise that most of us see our waistlines expand, even as the most health-conscious people may find it challenging to stick to their fitness and health routines.
But your next holiday season can be different if you follow the points that I have enlisted in this blog. Following are a few things to help keep us on track in the season of overindulgence.
1. Make movement merry.
As we all know, excessive sitting can be hazardous for our heart health and lead to other problems such as diabetes and obesity. You must avoid sitting for prolonged periods and try to be active. You can take short breaks after every twenty to thirty minutes of your work schedule and walk around your house or perform light squat exercises. Doing so would reduce your risk of several health problems.
2. Indulge with intention.
Deprivation leads to backlash. So if you are always about what you can not do, the effect will eventually be quite the opposite. It is a delicate balance. We are so used to the all-or-nothing mindset. However, the life that will feel the best is where you get to have all your indulgences and maintain a healthy balance.
I suggest you have a plan, i.e., make a list of all your favorite savories that you want to eat more of in the holiday season and have them in their best form and skip the rest. You must choose your favorite dishes and stick to them rather than indulging in other high-calorie food options. Be mindful and enjoy your meals to the fullest so that you feel satisfied after having them. This would help your mind not crave for anymore and make you feel full for longer.
3. You must not rely on New Year resolutions.
Most people think they have a free pass to overindulge themselves during the festive season, which is centered on food as a social tool. There is also a lot of social influence- if others are eating, you will end up eating too, even if you are not hungry. Studies show that people overeat in groups, and some overdrink to keep pace with their peers.
If you promise yourself a clean slate on 1st January, that would often provide another temptation to abandon healthy eating practices during the holiday season. This thought is often misinformed, as studies suggest that 85% of people abandon their resolutions by February. Instead of relying on New Year resolutions, there are simple solutions to help relieve stress around holiday eating and not miss out on your festive experiences:
Eat a healthy snack like a bowl of fruits or salad before attending a party so that you would not be tempted to eat whatever you see.
Use smaller plates.
Eat slowly and attentively.
Wait for twenty minutes before going for a second serving of something (your hunger may subside by then).
4. Trust your gut.
Gut health is the basis of your overall health. Alcohol, heavier foods, and dinner parties take a toll on our gut health, leading to bloating, gas formation, and stomach rumbling. Stress and anxiety related to festive celebrations can also affect your gut, and the results are discomfort and bloating in the digestive system.
So how will you enjoy your holidays while maintaining your gut health?
You can make these simple adjustments in your daily routine to keep your gut health strong and enjoy your holidays.
Consume fermented foods like kombuchas, yogurt, and sauerkraut in your daily diet. Consuming fermented foods frequently and consistently can help with minor digestion problems due to heavy holiday foods.
Eat small portions of vegetables and fruits before going to festive functions. It will ensure that you get your nutrients and that any heavy festive food does not significantly impact your overall diet.
Exercise and move your body to help blood pump so that the food moves through your digestive system.
5. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
Your brain can at times confuse thirst with hunger. Drinking water before a meal can aid lessen the quantity of food you eat. Drink seven to eight glasses of water a day and try to drink two big glasses of water before the calorie-rich, big festive meals. Drinking water also ensures that nutrients move through your body and get digested well so that you do not end up feeling bloated.
6. Get enough sleep.
Getting adequate sleep will support overall health and gut health. A lot of repair work happens in your body while you are asleep. If you are not getting enough sleep, your body can not rebuild. Not getting enough sleep can also impact your food choices eventually affecting your gut health and overall fitness. Therefore, you must be well-rested and stress-free to maintain your body fitness during the holiday season.
7. Be creative and get rid of your all-or-nothing mindsets.
Holidays can be hectic but try to avoid your all-or-nothing mindset regarding physical activity and healthful eating. Practically, there is more than just one way to live a healthy life and be active. Get a little creative during this holiday season and opt for fun ways to make physical activity a family affair. From building physical activity into family holiday traditions to exploring new group fitness classes, think out-of-the-box in terms of spending quality time with friends and family while also prioritizing your health.
8. Indulge in a night, not as your staple.
Avoid letting treats become your staples by not letting them linger in your kitchen after the party has ended. When the festive celebrations are over, remember to dump the junk. Do not let yourself get into the habit of consuming unhealthy junk food after the holiday season. As we all know, consuming high-calorie foods regularly affects our weight and lowers our overall body fitness.
9. Take a moment for yourself.
Anxiety and stress are pervasive, increasing exponentially in the holiday season. Stress leads to a more sedentary lifestyle, poor sleep, and a temptation for those comfort foods. Take out “me time” every day. If you are intentional about your self-care routine, you have a better opportunity to mitigate the effects of everyday stress. In doing so, motivation is not likely to wane, and you will eventually feel better and move more.
10. Plan to take out time for a workout.
Plan and schedule your workouts for a week to ensure they are a part of your day. Also, remind yourself that some exercise is better than none. Instead of skipping the gym altogether, make time for quick workouts.