Holiday Nutrition: 7 Tips and Tricks
The holiday season is full of family, friends, great food, and great memories but they aren’t always compatible with a healthy lifestyle. This can be a difficult time of year to maintain healthy eating habits when there are so many delicious dishes and treats. During this season of giving, many treats are being made for family, friends, and those around you.
Coupled together, 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. It’s known that the holiday season doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with the best healthy living. Endless options of food for the whole family can make it easy to overeat. The Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas tables may not follow the diets we stick to the rest of the year.
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. These easy tips will help you stay healthy and mindful as you celebrate the holidays with friends and family. You’ll also be able to stay mentally and physically healthy throughout the whole holiday season.
Take into consideration if you’ve been working out more or less. If you’ve been working out less, then you could make it a goal to eat more fruits and vegetables with every meal. If the workouts have been more intense, then of course make sure you’re getting enough carbs and protein – but don’t use that as an excuse to eat more sweets. Try to eat close to your regular eating times so your body does not get off schedule.
Moderation is the most important tip when it comes to the holidays. Nothing says “upset stomach” like two servings of pie, three cookies, and some peppermint bark all in one sitting. Not only does this make you feel sick, it prevents you from eating a real meal, which is the primary food that will fuel your body.
FUEL WELL BEFORE THE SWEETS
With all the delicious sweets in the house, it’s tempting to snack on the treats and goodies that have arrived over the holiday season. But remember: you want to eat your main meal before indulging in any additional sugars. By doing this, you fuel your body with good, healthy energy that will power you through the day, and you will make sure you are feeling your best. It’s also important to know that restricting yourself completely can have negative effects leading to binging or overeating. Eating unhealthy foods is okay as long as it is in moderation and you are supplementing them with nutritious foods. When you make great choices and use discipline, you train your mind like a muscle, and your well-being will reflect your good nutrition!
A healthy lifestyle should not be a sprint, it should be a marathon. Also, let’s keep in mind that having a set goal or target to where you can work towards will help even more. If you’re looking to lose weight or simply having a healthier lifestyle, small changes and consistency in the new routine are the key to success.
Nothing starts a day off better than a big healthy breakfast. By eating a healthy breakfast you are preparing and fueling well for the rest of your day. Breakfast also prevents you from having sugar cravings throughout the day because you will be more full for a longer period of time! A healthier diet can only bring benefits to our health and well being. If you have things such as “eating healthy” or “lose weight” in your New Year’s resolution list this year, I challenge you to start earlier and stay consistent and focused throughout the holiday season by implementing some of the tips I have given you.
Cutting back on added sugar might seem complicated at first but it’s no monster, I guarantee. As I have mentioned in past articles, when I started lowering my added sugar intake I started small by quitting to add sugar/sweetener on my coffee. It might seem like a small thing but I promise I was able to change my entire lifestyle based on that.
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.
EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY
Acknowledge that this is a challenging time of a challenging year for everyone. Setting goals before the holidays begin that are realistic and can be achieved while still enjoying oneself. If you realize that your unhealthy eating habits are getting out of control and might take some time to fix, make sure you are taking care of your body in all the other ways. Get enough sleep and work out the same amount or possibly more.
BE LIGHT ON YOURSELF
Restricting yourself completely can have negative effects leading to binging or overeating. Eating unhealthy foods is okay as long as it is in moderation and you are supplementing them with nutritious foods. While some foods can be categorized as healthy and unhealthy, this just means some foods can be eaten in larger portions than others.
It is no fun to eat something and then feel guilty about it; we should be able to enjoy the foods we love fully. It is okay to still enjoy a slice of pie for desert, but maybe try adding some strawberries to it – they might even make it taste better! Acknowledging unhealthy eating habits right away can help you stay on track from the beginning. Focus on balanced meals and eating unhealthy foods in moderation.
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.
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.