The holidays are a delightful time in many ways. But they’re probably not too good for your health or waistline. Our tables are groaning under dishes filled with all sorts of comfort food. At the same time, our snacks are getting more sugary. Even our winter hot chocolate is chock-full of processed sugar and topped with whipped cream and marshmallows.
Mince pie, pumpkin pie, eggnog – all of these come together to wreak havoc on your health. Sure, they taste delicious when everyone’s celebrating but is it worth putting your own health at risk?
Luckily, there are ways to stay healthy over the holidays without too much effort. These include the following:
1. Enjoy Eating
You might think you’re enjoying your food. But is that really true? Eating without paying attention (such as when you’re reading, watching TV, or even engaged in conversation) will lead to more consumption than otherwise.
Instead, try to make a habit of observing your food as you eat it. Savor every bit; you’d probably appreciate your food much more this way. Chew slowly so that your stomach has plenty of time to signal to your brain that it’s full.
If there are a lot of dishes and desserts to choose from, take just what you want to eat and nothing more.
Skip the drinks whenever possible – this includes eggnog, fruit juices, and even smoothies. All of these have loads of calories which you usually don’t need during the holidays. Instead, focus on increasing your water intake to about eight glasses a day.
With proper hydration, you’ll be able to stay more active and alert throughout the day. Filling up with water (infused or plain) will also lower your appetite while enhancing your immune system by flushing out unwanted toxins from the body.
3. Make Substitutions
If it’s the holidays, you’re tempted to eat well. That’s perfectly fine but you can also tweak your ingredients a bit if you’re cooking. If not, ask the cook if they can make some healthy substitutions instead.
Some of the best substitutes for holiday meals include using Greek yogurt instead of cream or sour cream for your dips, salads, etc. You can even request bean-based dips like hummus etc. The soups can be broth-based instead of cream-based while the mashed potatoes might be mashed sweet potatoes this year. If it’s not possible to replace an unhealthy dish, there should at least be some other healthy options on the table.
4. Get A Checkup
Even if you’re feeling well, a checkup around the holidays is a good precaution. The season is usually changing at that time of the year and you’ll be interacting with a lot more people than before. Plus, it’s hard to get proper medical attention during the holidays. Get your important devices such as hearing aids near Southern Maine or prescription refills beforehand.
You should also visit an ear nose throat doctor before the chilly winds start. This way, you’ll get to know what to do in case you come down with the sniffles. There’s nothing worse than feeling sick on a holiday. So, check this off your list and save your time.
5. Continue Working Out
Exercise is a great way to burn calories and maintain that immune system. When we get lazy and demotivated during the holiday season, we’re not being kind to our bodies. Don’t make that mistake; you might have to work around a different routine. But exercise should still be part of your day.
Once you’ve made a few key tweaks to your eating habits over the holidays, you might even be able to enjoy them more. With a lighter stomach and easier digestion, you’ll be in control of your mood and can carry on with the fun!