Oh the bitter sweet holidays! Such an amazing joyful time of year but one that often becomes hectic and stressful causing many people to put on that dreaded holiday weight gain. Research shows that the average person gains 5-10lbs over the 6 week winter holiday period. That in itself is an added stress during the holidays. So rather than watching you stress about the possiblity of putting on extra weight and feeling quite crappy by January, I have plenty of tips to give you to stay healthy and reduce stress all throughout the season.
- My #1 tip of all.....stay hydrated!!!!!! This is a must if you want to stay healthy and keep your energy up. Many people confuse dehydration with hunger. Making sure that you are hydrated will keep you from eating when you are not hungry. My trick to this is when you feel hungry drink a big glass of water and wait 15 minutes, If you are still hungry after drinking the water then eat. If you are not then the hunger you felt was simply a lack of hydration.
- Get plenty of rest. The more rest you get the more energy you will have, your immune system will be able to function better, and your stress levels will be lower.
- Don't skip your workouts! It's very easy to tell yourself that you have too much going on and that you will exercise when things slow down but this is one of the biggest reasons for holiday weight gain more so than over indulging. If you are really that busy break up your daily workouts into 10 minute intervals several times throughout the day and make sure that many of these include getting outside and getting fresh air.
- Snack smart! Carry healthy snacks in your purse and car and keep some in your desk drawer at work. When you are unprepared and starving we often tend to pick the quickest easiest options around which are also likely the worst for us. Instead keep things like baggies of nuts and seeds, roasted seaweed snacks, fresh fruit such as oranges, bananas, and apples, cut up veggies, and seed crackers with individual packets of almond butter . I also love to keep chia seeds around so that I can add to juice or water to help fill me up and give me a good dose of healthy omega 3's.
- Avoid refilling the coffee cup throughout the day. Instead opt for healthier green tea or matcha to help keep your energy levels up or even better try some coconut oil and honey in your tea for a great dose of brain boosting nutrients.
- Don't skip meals. Skipping meals throws your blood sugar out of whack, can slow metabolism and cause weight gain, sleeplessness, fatigue, and irritability. Start your day with a good dose of healthy fats and protein for a healthy metabolism and stable blood sugar and energy throughout the day. Try a nice free range egg omelette filled with veggies but skip the cheese and top with salsa and avocado.
- Designate a cleanse day each week where you have only healthy green smoothies, cooked veggie soups, bone broth, and green juices to give your digestive system a break.
- Take "you" time. Make sure to carve time out for yourself to relax and indulge in a nice massage, warm bath, sauna, facial, detoxification treatment, acupuncture session, yoga class, or anything else that calms your mind and body and brings peace and relaxation. Your cleanse day is a great day to take time to pamper yourself.
- Be realistic about the fact that the holidays are stressful and you may overindulge occasionally but make up for it by being extra active and healthy the next day rather than being hard on yourself for it.
- Focus on time spent with family and friends. Remember that the holidays are about the people and not so much the food and gifts. Instead of meeting up with friends for a drink plan a craft night to make homemade gifts for christmas such as candles, body scrubs, ornaments etc. Set out trays of veggies and hummus, fruit and yogurt dip, nuts roasted with exotic spices, and make healthy mocktails with sparkling water and fresh fruit.
- Take the stairs and park further away. This will force you to get in a little more exercise.
- Partner up with your friends and family and donate your time to a good cause such as collecting coats for kids or volunteering to help feed the hungry.
In part #2 of our How to stay healthy through the holidays blog post I will be giving you tips on how to stay healthy on the day of the holiday when you are gathered with your friends and family for the big feast so head on over and check it out and I really hope that all the tips in both of these blogs help keep you a little more grounded through the holiday season. Click here to read part #2 of this blog post
Happy Holidays from all of us over here on "The Gut Healer" team
May your holidays be healthy and happy!