8 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy Through the Holiday Season
It can be difficult to stay healthy during the holidays with the plethora of treats, parties, stress and emotional triggers the season brings. Not to fret! We’ve developed 8 simple ways to boost spirits and keep our health in check this year.
Carry Plenty of Snacks
As the holidays near, we’re bombarded with festive temptations wherever we turn. From treats offered by family and friends to parties and social gatherings, food often becomes a focal point of celebration. Having healthy and ready-to eat-snacks—such as raw veggies, fruit and nuts—are great ways to be prepared for the urge to indulge.
Eat Several Meals
One of the most effectives ways of combating these temptations is by eating six small meals throughout the day, rather than skipping meals to save up for one big feast. In order to keep our metabolic rates high and curb our sugar and fat cravings, it’s best to eat several small meals or snacks throughout the day.
Indulge in Only Special Treats
If you have a certain holiday treat you look forward to every year, don’t skip it! Simply hold off on most of the other goodies. Indulging in only select specialties gives you a taste of the holidays without the risk of triggering a chocolate binge from trying to abstain.
It’s always best to maintain an active lifestyle, and this is especially important during the holidays.
Staying active and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day is the best way to beat holiday blues and weight gain. It can even lower symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
Go Easy on Liquid Calories
It’s easy to pack on extra pounds due to holiday beverages like eggnog, sugary juices, alcohol and sodas. Not only can alcohol pack a ton of calories, but it also affects the way calories are burned off when ingested. Consider having just one glass of wine or bubbly, rather than overdoing it, and try the same approach with eggnog and juices. You’ll thank yourself for it a few hours later.
Eat Before the Party
If you’re planning on attending a party where there will be plenty of indulgent temptations, try eating before the party. If you fill up on a healthy meal before the festivities, you’ll be less likely to overindulge on the party favors.
Take the Focus off Food
So much of the holidays revolve around food, yet there are so many other traditions that we can focus on. Taking some time to focus on other aspects of the holidays can help curb overeating due to boredom and displaced energy.
Try putting your time and efforts into decorating, making homemade gifts, singing carols, or charity work for those less fortunate. You could even start a holiday project to keep your mind focused and occupied.
People sometimes struggle through the holidays, be it financially, emotionally or both. Helping out friends who may be having a difficult time is always beneficial to not only the friend, but your overall happiness and stress levels.
Donating is another way to lend a helping hand. A study was conducted where people were given $100 with the option of donating or keeping it. Results showed that those who kept the money had higher levels of stress and cortisol. Those who donated the money were ultimately happier, as it activated the reward center of the brain.