Top 5 Tips to Stay Healthy This (and every) Holiday Season
Skip the sacrifice and follow our top 5 tips to stay healthy this (and every) holiday season!
Most of us know by now that the holiday season is a tough time to stay healthy, but why? Although the season is filled with comfort foods, treats, and a lack of structure or normal routine; the biggest challenge we face is not what we are eating but instead why and how. That’s right, I’m talking about the “all-or-nothing” approach or the idea that if you can’t eat healthy foods all the time, you shouldn’t bother at all.
This is a challenge we face year after year and even the most self-aware among us struggles with the idea that health, and especially healthy eating, needs to “pause” for the holidays in order for you the enjoy the season and then “re-start” after the first of the year. Our goal is to help you break the cycle of overindulgence and guilt and help create an inclusive approach to the holidays that allows you to enjoy all of your holiday favorites and carry your positive approach to health into the new year! You heard it here first, you CAN have your cake and eat it too.
- Don’t set high expectations for the season.
Your holiday gatherings and celebrations will likely look a bit different this year. Remember all of the things you have to celebrate and be grateful for and try to enjoy the small pleasures like decorations, music, and kindness to and from others. Enjoy the season by taking each moment in stride and focusing on the things that are important this time of year.
- Take inventory of the parties that you have this season and choose accordingly.
With the abundance of online options to stay connected we are hearing that many people are finding their calendars just as booked, if not more booked than usual. In our rush to stay connected we often over-extend ourselves and replace enjoyment of the season with overwhelm. Take an inventory of your events and gatherings and prioritize the ones that will allow you to truly celebrate and enjoy time with family and friends.
- Never skip meals.
Remember, if you overdo it one day it doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need to be nourished the next day. Guilt and restriction do not balance overindulgence and can actually have the opposite of the desired effect. Instead of skipping your next meal, think about packing your day full of nutrient rich foods!
- Don’t arrive hungry.
Just like in tip 3, the same goes for restricting before your event. Under-eating in anticipation of over-eating can cause a host of physiological side-effects that impact your ability to regulate your blood sugar. This also contributes to the cycle of guilt and restriction that we are trying to avoid. Instead, in anticipation of an event packed with your favorite treats, eat a meal balanced with healthy sources of protein, carbs, and healthy fat to make sure your body has the nourishment it needs to make mindful decisions at your event and choose the foods that you will truly enjoy!
- Practice mindfulness and self-forgiveness.
These are both practices that take time to master. Right now you can practice mindfulness by recognizing the moments that you wish to let go and enjoy and you can practice self-forgiveness by letting it be ok to over-indulge without punishing yourself through restriction or throwing in the towel until next year.
The most important tip we can offer is to reach out if you need help. We hear so often “I know what I need to do, I just don’t do it” and the misconception is that we just need information and willpower in order to be successful.
We know it takes more than that and are here to provide information as well as support, guidance, accountability, inspiration, and most importantly a person who believes in your ability to achieve your goals.
SCHEDULE SOME TIME WITH YOUR LOCAL NIM TEAM MEMBER TO TALK ABOUT STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! REMEMBER, VISITS WITH A REGISTERED DIETITIAN ARE COVERED BY MOST INSURANCE CARRIERS FOR IN-PERSON AND TELE-HEALTH VISITS. ASK US A QUESTION OR REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT TO LEARN MORE!