Putting self-care as a priority during the holiday season is a total must. Part 1 of this guide provides some simple tips on how to stay energized, stress-free and healthy during the holiday season. Be sure to check it out. It breaks down everything from handwashing to handling holiday stress.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is really about consistency. It’s not uncommon for people to throw caution to the wind during the holiday season when it comes to eating a balanced diet and engaging in physical activity. The thought is often “I’ll ‘start over’ when January comes”.
The reality is, the roller coaster ride our body goes through when it’s cycling between over and under-eating or too much or too little physical activity is stressful on the body and exhausting for our emotions.
That’s why aiming for a consistently decent diet is much better than off and on dieting. Check out these 5 tips.
How to maintain healthy habits through the busy holiday season
Don’t skip meals.
It can be tempting to “save calories” for that big holiday potluck on Friday. But the only thing that mindset will set you up for is a potential stomachache when you finally let yourself eat what you want. After feeling restricted it’s common for the brain and body to overcompensate for the food it’s missed out on. The emphasis being on “over” because it typically doesn’t equally compensate.
Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite holiday foods.
Generally, I’d advise you with tips on how to balance your plate. However, sometimes we need to let go and just choose the foods that will be the most satisfying for us to eat, without thinking about how balanced our plate is. One of my favorite quotes from Michelle May is “eat what you love, love what you eat.” When we can remove guilt and morality from our food choices this is so much easier to accomplish. It also increases our pleasure from eating and decreases the likeliness that we’ll excessively overeat.
Keep your scarcity mindset in check.
It’s easy to get carried away during the holiday season when we feel as if it’s our only opportunity to eat certain foods. This happens because we may have access to foods we never get the rest of the year. But it can also happen because we are telling ourselves that come January we are going to “eat clean” and thus many of these foods won’t be allowed. When we restrict ourselves in the future it just increases the likelihood that we will overeat in the moment. The brain doesn’t like being restricted from something it needs for survival.
Listen to hunger/fullness cues.
By eating when you get hungry, but before you’re overly hungry, you’ll be less likely to experience energy dips in the day or to binge when you do finally eat. Paying attention to fullness can be easier said than done. Slowing down and enjoying what you’re eating can really help. If there is more food than you can comfortably eat, taking leftovers with you will help to curb any FOMO that you might be experiencing.
Move your body in ways that feel good.
Even if the holidays have you short on time for your typical workouts every little bit can really help. Even just a 5-minute walk around the block can energize you and lift your mood. A midday stretch session can release tension and help you be more focused and efficient through the afternoon. Movement doesn’t always have to be structured or intense to help you feel your best.
How do you maintain a healthy routine through the holiday season?