Tis’ the season to be jolly… and stressed out. Holidays are always manic with tons of to-do lists and busy schedules and it seems it is the time of the year when Murphy’s law triumphs. In all this holiday rush, thinking about wellness falls down on the priority list. Sure, these days are about loosing up a bit but there is no reason not to be savvy by making smarter and healthier choices. With a little bit of effort, you can stick with healthy habits, maintain the fitness results you’ve achieved so far, feel better, and prevent the post-holiday fatigue.
Be mindful with meals
If you’re in charge of cooking, there are simple things you can do to provide a healthier dinner for yourself and your loved ones. Choose low-fat cooking options (e.g. baking, grilling, or steaming) instead of roasting and frying. Use herbs, spices, and healthy fats (e.g. olive oil) to add a rich flavor to your dishes, and always pick low-fat dairy products. As for the dessert, make them fruit-based: they can be very tasty!
Another great way to trick yourself in eating less is to take a smaller plate: in addition to the fact there will be less place for food, science backed data says the portion dictates the amount of food you’ll eat as people have a tendency of cleaning up their plates. Chew your food thoroughly as we all fall into a trap of devouring food. That is why your stomach doesn’t get the chance to signalize it’s full. Bitter food is great for digestion: serve appetizers that include cress or baby spinach. As for the sweets, you don’t have to write them off. Simply choose your guilty pleasure in advance or allow yourself a “cheat day”.
Mind the drinking
With festive days ahead, one thing’s for certain: there will be a lot of cheerful toasts. You don’t have to say no to alcohol completely, just take in mind the type you’re consuming.
Drinking sets a hard task for the liver and the kidneys as they have to use a lot of energy in order to eliminate the alcohol from your body. Alcohol contains “empty calories” that have no nutritional value which is why your body wants to get rid of it as fast as it can. This is a priority for the body and so it puts all the other tasks (e.g. digesting food, producing enzymes, etc.) on hold. Drink other liquids (such as orange juice or a glass of fresh water) to help your body recover and process the alcohol better.
You should not drink on an empty stomach: no wine before dinner. Red wine is typically considered to be healthy because of the high level of antioxidants which help with preventing inflammation and coronary heart disease. Harvard study showed that a glass of wine before bed helps with weight loss.
Beers and cocktails are considered to be an unhealthier option as they are packed with calories: a pint of lager is about of the caloric worth of a slice of pizza!
To conclude: make a toast for the happy and healthy year to come with a glass of a red wine or a freshly squeezed orange juice and you won’t suffer the consequences of the mindless night.
We might as well call the holiday season a season of overeating and making New Year’s resolutions. But who says you have to wait for the next year to become a better person?
With tons of work that needs to be done, it may seem hard to squeeze in physical activity. Sure, the festive spirit that takes over and everyone indulging themselves with delicious fattening meals certainly aren’t helping. Seems like nobody supports you on your fitness-focused path and so the motivation simply fizzles out.
A great way to prevent this is to hire a personal trainer as he will help you set short and long term goals, track progress and make you work even when you don’t feel like breaking a sweat. Experts can offer that support we feel we lack from our surroundings and ensure we keep our eyes on the prize.
Light training sessions are perfect to get you through the holidays and start building a relationship with the trainer. Consistency matters: we all get a bit lazy during the holidays, which makes it hard to get back on track afterward. Excuses like “it’s too hot for exercising” and “I’ll start next year” won’t do you any good.
Preparing festive dinners, buying gifts for our loved ones, accommodating visiting family members, and staying sane in the process can be a bit challenging. Still, there is a distinctive charm to holidays that makes the hard work incredibly rewarding: the picture of whole family gathered does warm up the heart. Yes, holidays can get a bit hectic but with a little bit of effort – your health and well-being don’t have to suffer.