It’s true that the holiday season is always full of family, friends, great food, and great memories. The combination of religious and national celebrations can help keep the cold winter away. But they aren’t always compatible with a healthy lifestyle. By eating just 200 extra calories a day — a piece of pecan pie and a tumbler of eggnog here, a couple latkes and some butter cookies there — you could pack on two to three pounds over this five to six-week period.
It seems like 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 trust me, it doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t need to deprive yourself, eat only boring foods, or take your treats with a side order of guilt. If you practice a bit of defensive eating and cooking, you can easily come through the holidays without having to add “go on a diet” as one of your New Year’s resolutions. Fortunately, with a few tricks, it’s possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle year-round and I will show you how!
The holiday season might not be a time to lose weight, but it doesn't have to be a time to lose your health. The key is to go into the holidays with a proper plan. With these tips I am about to give you, you’ll be able to stay mentally and physically healthy throughout the holiday season.
It is super important to stock your kitchen with healthy foods. A stress-free and successful holiday season is all about planning. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the food preparation, present buying, socialising and anything else on your to do list. I urge you to not let it swamp you. You could start by writing a list of everything that needs to be done and everything that needs to be purchased, for your diet and as presents.
Use that list to make a schedule and plan when things will be done. Plan when you’ll go shopping, wrap presents, bake, prep the food or even have a quiet moment to yourself. Having a schedule will mean that you won’t get overwhelmed as everything is under control. It’s also a good idea to schedule in some physical activity so that it doesn’t get forgotten amongst all the holiday activity.
The holiday season can mean chaotic schedules fill up with different parties and eating engagements. It’s important to remember that healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to give up your holiday favorites — all they need are a few modifications. Moderation will be your saving grace during the holiday season. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying an indulgent, festive dinner — but you’ll want to make sure that your meals surrounding it are healthy and nutrient-dense.
Don’t let junk food become the norm during the holiday season. Homemade everything can be difficult when you have a lot going on, but it can also ensure that you’re eating much healthier. Canned, processed, and pre-made foods are full of excess salt and sugar that you can avoid by making the dishes yourself.
Food additives and artificial flavors are used to enhance flavor, appearance or texture of a product, as well as to extend products shelf lives. While some of these artificial ingredients show minimum risk to our health, most of them are associated with adverse health effects and should always be avoided. A great rule of thumb is to avoid at maximum all of these “artificial” ingredients. Here’s a blog post I go a little further on details about that. Making the food from scratch will also make you much more aware of what you’re eating and when, giving you more control and awareness in the long run.
Our body also needs fluids and electrolytes to function at its best. Staying hydrated is super important for our bodies overall health. It’s easy during the holiday season to forget about the water and switch it for a couple of glasses of wine or beer, but dehydration is dangerous for our bodies and can cause a whole range of issues including allergies, asthma, colitis, constipation, migraine headaches and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few. Keep your water bottle with you at all times.
As I always mention, keeping your body hydrated is the bare minimum you can do to optimise mental and physical well-being. As a professional swimmer, I always have to make sure my body is at its maximum level of hydration, so I can perform at my best during everyday workouts and swim meets. Walking around with a water bottle or sports drink bottle has become part of who I am. Staying hydrated not only helps me to stay on top of my physical performance, but also I make sure I am always at my best mentally. Products like Hydra-Guard Sports Drink also help me to make sure I have my proper amount of Vitamins and essential electrolytes. One bottle has 20% the equivalent Daily Value of Calcium we need alongside with only 5g of REAL Sugar and no artificial anything.
There’s a million other things to do, and if you’re away from your home gym, working out can seem even more difficult. It is highly essential to make it a piece of your day by day schedule to increase well-being and productivity. It can assist you with discharging pressure, being innovative, and time management skills. Thinking with a clear mind, combining exercise and meditation, helps us stay on task and focus better.
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. It's ok if you can't make it to class, but make sure that you get some activity in at least three days per week.
The holidays are full of family and friends, and while this can be a great thing, it can also be draining and stressful. Be mindful and enjoy the moment this holiday season. Whether you’re staying with family over the holidays or just attending a large number of events, remember to take time every day for yourself and enjoy the moment.
This special time of year can mean we get caught up in the big celebrations, but don’t let the little moments pass you by. Go for a walk, meditate once a day, or offer to go to the store for a few minutes of quiet. For me personally, I like to workout as a meditation so I can easily knock out two of these steps out of my list with one jab. Find out what works for you and while gift giving is a fun experience, it’s the connections and moments you share with your loved ones that will last a lifetime, enjoy it!
We should always remember that vitamin and minerals — particularly A, C and E, as well as zinc — play an important role in keeping the immune system strong and staying healthy during this time. It’s also important to look for products that support your goals.
As a professional swimmer, the majority of the products and food I consume are from a natural background with extremely low to zero sugar and I choose not to have any artificial products on them. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink has been helping me recover after my swim workouts by replenishing my electrolytes with the right quantity while keeping me away from sugar and artificial sweeteners or food dye. If you want to check out the online store, you can use the code JOAO10 for a discount on your checkout.