If you’re wondering, “how can I be healthy through the holidays?” You came to the right place! Today we are bringing you three steps to staying healthy this holiday season.
Step 1: Decide how you want to feel now and on January 1st.
The holidays are full of opportunities to savor food, friends, and fun. Be in the moment and enjoy what matters to you. But don’t forget about your future self. Do you want to wake up the next day feeling bloated and tired? Do you want to wake up in the New Year feeling like you have to start a diet or detox program?
Instead, grab a journal or scrap piece of paper and decide how you want to feel through the holidays and on January 1st. Maybe you want to feel energized, healthy, joyful, confident, or empowered. By writing it down, you direct your inner compass to make intentional choices all season long. Think about what matters most to you this holiday season, savor and enjoy that and let the rest go. Sharing time with loved ones baking cookies may be a cherished activity, but the store-bought cookies at a work party with a lot less meaning may be easy to pass up if you think about it.
Step 2: Know your triggers!
These are the foods, situations, or a time of day that we tend to make our least healthy choices. Have you noticed you crave a sweet treat around 3 PM or 9 PM? That could be a trigger time of day. Or every time you walk by the break room, there seems to be another holiday goodie sitting out, and your brain says, “just one bite won’t hurt!“ These situations may be a trigger for you.
After you’ve determined what triggers your not-so-healthy choices, you can start to set yourself up for success by finding better afternoon or bedtime treats, such as these yummy gingerbread bites or a piece of fruit with nut butter. Also, consider the occasional permission slip. That’s the permission to enjoy that special treat as long as you do so mindfully and sitting at a table (versus hiding in the pantry eating cookies – yea, we’ve been there too!).
Step 3: Eat Well-Balanced Meals
This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get out of a healthy routine during the holiday season. That means continuing to eat regular meals and snacks if snacks are a part of your routine. Skipping meals increases our stress hormone levels, causes us to make poor food choices, and sometimes leads to overeating at the next meal.
Breakfast: 1 small baked sweet potato + 2 scrambled eggs + 1/4 to 1/2 avocado
Lunch: 1 cup vegetable soup + 4-6 oz roasted chicken + 1 whole grain roll
Snack: a handful of cashews
Dinner: Spaghetti squash + sautéed onion and peppers + turkey sausage
Snack: 2 dates + 1 Tbsp. your favorite nutbutter
Food for thought:
Which step do you need to focus on to feel GREAT in the new year?
Need help getting started? We’re happy to chat and help you reach your health and wellness goals. Click here to talk to your friendly dietitians!