The holidays are full of family, friends, great food, and great memories. But they aren’t always compatible with a healthy lifestyle. When the holiday season rolls around, it’s easy to get a little lax on the healthy eating and exercise that we typically maintain.
Coupled together, all those festive parties and the stress the holidays can bring, can mean a hit to our overall well-being from November to New Year’s. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Fortunately, with a few tricks, it’s possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle year-round.
Add more vegetables
It’s easy to go all-out with our favorite recipes, but sometimes eating better is as simple as keeping more healthy choices on hand. Increase the number of vegetable dishes on the dinner table, finding small twists to dress them up without making them unhealthy. Roasted asparagus can be beautiful on its own, and roasted carrots or sweet potatoes are rich in taste and a bright pop of color.
Slow down during meals
While the decadent food might make us eager to eat, a key tip to staying healthy over the holidays is to slow down during mealtime. Multiple studies have shown that eating slowly can give our stomachs enough time to send the hormonal signal to our brain telling us that we’re full, which will stop us from accidentally overeating. This can help us maintain better portion control as a result.
Remember portion control
Speaking of portion control — portion control will be your best friend throughout the holiday season. Eat small snacks during the day, and have three medium meals instead of three extra-large ones. This will improve your digestion and reduce the amount you’re eating, both during meal times and overall. If you’re worried about portion control, you can use smaller plates or reduce the number of dishes you serve at each meal.
Take a walk after dinner
Walking after a meal can give you several distinct benefits. First, you can get exercise at a time when you might not otherwise be exercising as frequently. It can also provide some quiet alone time to de-stress and aid your digestion all at once. All of these factors combined are good for your physical and mental health, and can contribute to weight loss. To maximize these benefits, walking immediately after a meal is better than waiting even an hour.
Don’t forgo exercise
There’s a million other things to do, and if you’re away from your home gym, working out can seem even more difficult. Despite that, it’s important to maintain regular exercise for both your mental and physical health. Exercise is good for your body and can also relieve the stress that’s so commonplace during the holiday season.
Try to stick to your typical sleep schedule
This can be particularly challenging with the increase in parties and family in town. But sticking to your sleep schedule will improve your quality of sleep both now and after the holidays. Irregular sleep schedules can lead to poor sleep quality, fatigue, poor eating habits, and daytime sleepiness that can take time to reverse. Avoid this by going to bed and waking up as close to the same time as you usually do.
All these tips will help you stay healthy and fit while holidaying.