The holidays can be a tricky time of year when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. With so many delicious treats and tempting meals, it’s easy to get off track and find yourself in a food coma by the end of the festivities.
However, it is possible to enjoy the holidays while still staying on top of your health goals. All it takes is a few simple and healthy habits to keep you on track. Here are 10 healthy habits to adopt during the holidays that won’t ruin your diet.
From mindful eating to incorporating exercise into your day, there are plenty of ways to stay healthy and still enjoy the season. So grab a cup of tea and get ready to learn how to make the most of the holidays without sacrificing your health.
Before diving into your holiday feast, take a moment to really savor each bite. Enjoy the smells, flavors, and textures of your food. Eating mindfully can be a great way to help you slow down and experience the joy of eating without feeling guilty. It can also be a good way to avoid overeating.
Eating slowly can help you feel more full sooner, which can in turn help you avoid overstuffed feelings and cramping. It can also help you avoid mindless snacking. When you eat mindfully, you tend to eat less overall because you are more aware of when you are getting full.
This can be especially helpful during the holidays when you are surrounded by treats and big meals. Eating mindfully can also help you stay on track with your other healthy habits, like getting enough sleep and drinking enough water.
Mindful eating can be especially helpful when you are traveling or hosting guests during the holidays. If you are in a rush or too busy to prepare your own meals, it can be easy to rely on unhealthy options. Eating mindfully can help you steer clear of unhealthy takeout and other convenience foods.
Meal Planning and Prepping
Another great way to help you stay on track during the holidays is to meal plan and prep. This can be especially helpful if you are hosting a gathering or attending a potluck. If you know what you’ll be eating in advance, it can be much easier to avoid cheating on your diet and staying on top of your health goals. Meal prepping can range from planning out your meals for the week, to preparing several days’ worth of meals at once.
You can do this all at once or break it down and prep several meals at a time throughout the week. This can help keep you on track and make it easier to avoid unhealthy takeout options. If you are hosting a gathering, you can also help yourself stay on track by prepping snacks and side dishes.
This can be a great way to avoid overeating during your meal or having to choose unhealthy options. This can also be a helpful way to avoid being stressed out during the holidays. If you have plenty of healthy options available, you won’t have to worry about making bad choices.
Incorporating Exercise into Your Day
Skipping your workouts during the holidays is an easy way to ruin your diet, but you can avoid this by incorporating exercise into your day. There are plenty of ways to take advantage of the season and get your heart rate up at the same time.
Whether you enjoy the occasional snowball fight or prefer to channel your inner child with a game of sled hockey, you can get your heart rate up while still enjoying the season. If you need a break from the cold, there are plenty of indoor activities that can help you stay on track with your health goals.
From yoga to spinning, you can find plenty of ways to stay fit and enjoy the season. You can also plan your workouts around the holidays. Rather than doing a normal workout, you can opt for a holiday-themed workout to make it more fun. You can also get your family involved, which can be a great way to bond with your loved ones while staying on track with your health goals.
Eating More Fruits and Vegetables
One of the easiest ways to improve your diet during the holidays is to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. This is especially easy when you are hosting a meal or attending a potluck. It can be tempting to fill up on bread, pastries, and other carb-heavy options, but it is much healthier to load up on fruits and vegetables.
While you might not be able to avoid carbs completely, there are plenty of ways to make up for them. You can start by eating the vegetables or fruits that come with your meal. You can also try to incorporate fresh fruit into your baking whenever possible.
This is a great way to make your treats healthier while still enjoying them. You can also bulk up your meals with fruits and vegetables. You can add them to side dishes or even incorporate them into your main dish. This can be a great way to get your daily vitamins while still enjoying your holiday meal.
Limiting Your Alcohol Intake
While we all deserve a break once in a while, alcohol can be very high in calories. It can also put a strain on your liver and digestive system, which can lead to digestive issues and other health problems. It can also be easy to overdo it when you are surrounded by delicious drinks.
One way to help you stay on track with your alcohol intake is to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. If you know you want to enjoy a few drinks, you can alternate between an alcoholic beverage and a non-alcoholic beverage.
This can help you avoid exceeding your daily alcohol limit, as well as your daily calorie limit. It can also be easier to pace yourself when you have something between drinks. Limiting your alcohol intake can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed by alcohol and help keep your diet on track. You can also try to stay hydrated while enjoying your drinks by alternating between water and other non-alcoholic beverages.
Eating Leaner Meats
One of the easiest ways to improve your diet during the holidays is to eat leaner meats. This can include choosing turkey instead of ham at your holiday feast or substituting ground beef with ground turkey in your side dishes.
It can also be helpful to avoid eating too many rich or heavy dishes. These types of dishes are usually rich in fat, which can be applied to the meat. This can be a great way to keep your meat-based dishes healthier without sacrificing flavor. It will be be helpful to pair your meat with a side dish that is lower in fat and calories. Side dishes like steamed veggies, mashed potatoes, or couscous are a great way to keep your meal healthy and on track with your health goals.
Cutting Back on Sugar
Another easy way to improve your diet during the holidays is to cut back on your sugar intake. This can be especially helpful if you are attending a gathering where you aren’t sure what options will be available. It can be easy to overdo it when there are so many delicious treats available.
However, it is easy to avoid this by cutting back on your intake of sugary treats. This can be especially helpful at a holiday gathering or if you are hosting a gathering of your own. It can be helpful to ask each guest to bring a healthier dessert option.
This can be a great way to avoid overindulging in sugar while still enjoying the holiday treats. It can also be helpful to avoid mixing your sugar intake with alcohol. This is especially helpful during the holidays when alcohol is plentiful and sugar intake is often high.
Another easy way to improve your diet during the holidays is to stay hydrated. This can be especially helpful if you are attending a gathering where alcohol is flowing. It can also be helpful if you find yourself overindulging in rich, heavy dishes. Drinking plenty of water between meals can also help you avoid overeating during your meals.
Avoiding sugary drinks and sticking to water can also help you cut back on your sugar intake. Drinking plenty of water can also help you stay energized during the holidays. It can be especially helpful during the winter months when indoor heating can dry you out. It can also be helpful when traveling during the holidays since it can be harder to stay hydrated during long car rides.
Getting Enough Sleep
When you’re sleeping, your body is actively restoring and repairing itself. This means that getting enough sleep is a crucial part of your health routine. Not only does it keep your energy levels high, but it can also help you avoid weight gain.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel hungrier and more likely to overindulge. This can lead to weight gain, which is why getting enough sleep is a healthy habit worth adopting during the holidays. The best way to ensure you’re getting enough sleep is to stick to a consistent bedtime.
Setting Realistic Goals
Finally, it’s important to set realistic goals for the holidays and know when to back off. The holidays are a time for celebration and gift-giving, but it can be easy to go overboard. Make sure to set a budget for yourself and stick to it. It’s also important not to overbook yourself.
Set aside time to relax and don’t feel like you have to attend every party and bake every cookie. It’s important to remember that the holidays don’t have to be stressful. If you follow these healthy habits, you’ll enjoy the season even more than usual.
From making sure you’re getting enough sleep to eating more fruits and vegetables, these tips will help you stay on track while still enjoying the season. So grab a cup of tea and get ready to learn how to make the most of the holidays while still staying healthy.