While the holidays may look a little different this year, we will still have many opportunities to celebrate at home! Many of these traditions and celebrations revolve around food, drink and merriment, meaning you may find it difficult to stick to your health goals.
We rounded up our top tips for navigating the holiday season while sticking to your health goals and feeling your best below!
1. Get in some regular movement.
When the temperature drops, it can be harder to motivate yourself to get outside to get some exercise. But staying active and getting some movement in daily is so good for both your physical and mental health (hello, endorphins!). This December, make it a priority to get in some exercise most days of the week.
One good thing about 2020 is that there are so many more great streaming workouts available that you can do in the comfort of your own home. We love Define Body’s on-demand barre classes and the Peloton app’s library of cardio and strength-training workouts.
2. Don’t skip meals. Start your day with a balanced breakfast.
Skipping meals to “make up” for a big meal later in the day always backfires. Instead, eat regularly timed, nutrient-dense meals so that you don’t set down at the dinner table starving.
And on that note, getting in a balanced breakfast balances blood sugar so that we have sustained energy to power through our morning. Research shows that high-protein breakfasts reduce hunger throughout the day and set people up to eat fewer calories. Our Busy Morning Egg Muffins are packed with satiating protein!
3. Snack smart.
During the holiday season when we are surrounded by sweets, it’s even more important to choose a “smart snack” or one that contains a mix of fiber, protein and healthy fat. This combination is what keeps us full and satisfied and prevents overeating later on. Our favorite combinations? An apple with peanut butter, a handful of lightly salted nuts, Greek yogurt topped with fresh or frozen berries, and hummus paired with fresh veggies. This Butternut Squash Hummus with Feta and & Pomegranates is full of winter flavors!
4. Stay hydrated.
When celebrating the holidays with an alcoholic drink or two, it’s so important to stay hydrated. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and fill it up regularly so you can stay on top of your hydration goals throughout the day.
5. Practice mindful eating.
You may feel out of control around your favorite comfort foods and holiday treats. While eating these foods is totally okay as part of a balanced diet, knowing when to stop is important too! Mindful eating is a big part of the Mediterranean diet and practicing mindfulness at the dinner table can help you eat until satisfied and not stuffed!
Haracha Bachi Bu is a Japanese term meaning “Eat until you are 80% full.” This is great advice for anyone struggling with overeating because it instructs you to stop eating when you are no longer hungry but not yet stuffed. The term originated in Okinawa, one of the cities in the world where people live the longest and are the healthiest so there’s got to be something to it!
6. Make time for a mindful moment.
Extending mindfulness beyond the dinner table is a good idea too! Mindfulness is the ability to be fully aware of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and current environment without becoming reactive or overwhelmed by our current environment or situation. Research shows that mindfulness may help decrease anxiety and depression and improve sleep, immunity and overall well-being!
This holiday season, we encourage you to take just 5-10 minutes before your day starts to have a ‘mindful moment.’ Whether you pray, meditate or simply reflect on your day ahead or the day past, find a practice that works for you.