‘Tis The Season
The holiday season officially kicks off with Thanksgiving this week, which means office parties, endless cocktails, elaborate meals, and tasty treats in abundance.
The holidays are a time of year to gather with friends and family to celebrate and commune, but it’s also a time of anxiety for many who wish to maintain their health and avoid feeling sluggish or less than ideal starting the new year.
Here are a few simple tips to help you feel fantastic when January rolls around. Choose a few that you know will move the needle for you and stick with those or employ them all (just don’t overwhelm yourself!). Either way, you’re bound to be feeling great and ready to take on the new year once the holiday madness dies down.
- Eat a meal with 20-30g of protein within an hour of waking.
This sets up your hormones and metabolism to keep you from overeating later in the day.
- Eat a small meal before going to parties.
Not showing up to the party ravished will keep you from diving in to the first food your eyes see, and make it less likely for you to over indulge.
- Decide ahead of time that you’re only going to have 1 or 2 drinks.
Having a plan is always good. Not only do those drinks contain extra sugar and calories, but they lower your inhibitions, causing you to snack and drink more.
- Make time for exercise.
Exercise is not only great for stress reduction during this hectic time of year, but it likely gets you outdoors, which benefits your mind, body, and spirit. It may seem like you don’t have time, but maintaining your movement routine is crucial to staying healthy through the holidays.
- Make sure you’re staying hydrated.
This might seem like common sense, but with cooler temps and long to-do lists on our minds, it’s easy to forget this basic tip, which keeps our bodies performing at their highest levels by removing toxins, carrying nutrients to cells, and so much more.
- Fill your plate with the healthy items first.
Having protein, fiber, and healthy fat at each meal will keep you satiated and less likely to over do the not-so-healthy items.
- Avoid the “screw it” mindset.
If you over indulge at one meal, don’t let that snowball into an entire week or month of excess. Forgive yourself and move on. Each moment is an opportunity to make a new decision.
- Get enough sleep.
This is the most important one on the list. Sleep is critical for everything from reducing stress levels, to keeping cortisol levels in check, to reducing sugar cravings, to maintaining immune health, and more. If you know you’re going to be out late, clear your calendar the next morning so you can sleep in.
Getting plenty of sleep is the biggest thing you can do for your health to greet the new year feeling vibrant and ready to pursue your big goals.
To your health and happiness
Enjoy the holiday season and soak up the spiritual nourishment of being with loved ones and communing over food. It’s a special time of year which can bring great joy and health if you set yourself up for success.