The holidays are here and we all are so busy with festive activities. It is really easy to forget to take care of ourselves and let our health take a backseat to everything else we have going on. During the holiday season, we often find ourselves daydreaming about all of the delicious foods and flavors that this festive season has to offer. However, in the midst of pinning pie recipes, a wave of anxiety comes over us… While the holiday season really is the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the hardest time to stick with a healthy routine. Snacking on leftover Halloween candy? Guilty. Another glass of bubbly at that company Christmas party? Yes, please. Also, who doesn’t love a good cheese plate before dinner? I sure do!
Did you know the average weight gain (for North Americans) between Thanksgiving and New Years is anywhere between one and seven pounds? Yikes!
I’ve put together a handful of tried and true tips to help avoid those extra holiday pounds.
Have A Morning And Evening Routine
Our schedule often ends up crazy during the holidays. Having a morning and evening routine can help you stay on track even when the rest of your day is busy and anything but routine.
Your routines don’t have to be long or complicated but these are good times to work in things that are priorities. My routines are very simple.
Listen to a podcast or read while drinking a cup of tea.
Workout. Lately, I have been enjoying The Sweat app.
Empty the dishwasher and fill.
Brush teeth, wash face, get dressed, do hair and makeup.
Take my vitamins.
Pick up around the house.
Get ready for bed (i.e. shower, skin care, brush teeth).
There are other things I like to do when I have time but these are the things that are my priorities.
Schedule and Stick With Your Workout Routine
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but during the holidays it’s easy to become extremely busy and put your fitness routine on the backburner. Make fitness a priority. Not only will working out help you de-stress, but it will also keep your metabolism revved up and ready to handle all of your holiday feastings. Not only will working out keep your metabolism fired up, but it will also help you make better decisions when it comes to holiday food and drinks. After a really hard run or an exhausting Burn Bootcamp class, you’ll think twice before overindulging in that second slice of pie.
This is something that can be part of your morning or evening routine like mine. If my day is really busy I will do a short workout during nap time because something is better than nothing. My favorite is the Sweat App. Keeps me on track and motivated.
Take Your Vitamins
One of the things in my morning routine is taking my vitamins. I feel my best when I remember my vitamins and having that as part of my routine helps. I like to keep my vitamins below my coffee machine because I know if I keep them there that I’ll remember to take them every day … I mean, who doesn’t immediately gravitate to their coffee machine first thing in the morning?? Lol!! Pretty brilliant if you ask me!
When it comes down to which vitamins, in particular, these are at the top of my list, they would have to be the following (in no particular order!) … and I’ll tell you why!*
Omega-3 fatty acids provide an incredible amount of health benefits acids including reducing inflammation, improving brain health and general brain function, helps lower cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, lowers depression, helps with autoimmune disorders, helps to reduce the risk of cancer, and much more…
B1, B6, and B12 helps boost metabolism and with the production of blood cells and proteins.
Calcium (1,000 mg/day)
Calcium for bone density, strength and helps prevent osteoporosis.
Folate (100 mcg/day)
Folic acid promotes fertility, prevents neural defects in a fetus if pregnant and reduces the risk of stroke.
Iron plays a key role in the making of red blood cells, which carry oxygen.
Vitamin C (at least 75 mg/day)
Vitamin C/Ascorbic Acid promotes healthy absorption of iron and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Vitamin D3 (20 mg/ day)
Vitamin D improves the absorption of iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and phosphate. It also helps maintain blood levels of calcium; typically sourced from moderate sun exposure.
Vitamin E (at least 15 mg/day)
Vitamin E reduces signs of aging and improves immunity.
Biotin helps to support healthy skin, hair, nails, and a healthy metabolism!
* Not intended to replace a professional medical practitioner’s opinion. Consult with your doctor before taking any vitamins.
Don’t Go Hungry
Being prepared is the best way to make it through this holiday season without sacrificing your figure. We’ve all been there: Showing up to Thanksgiving dinner or a holiday party with an empty stomach, and indulging in one too many helpings of something we normally don’t even eat because our hanger (hunger + anger) has set in. My advice? Have a snack before you head out the door this holiday season.
Also, when you go Christmas shopping, pack a healthy snack such as trail mix or a granola bar to stave off mid-day hunger. We all know the food court isn’t going to do your waistline any favors.
My Favorite: Blue Diamond Almonds, Bold Sriracha or Bold Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds
Follow The 80/20 Rule For Eating
I’m not saying you have to give up all the delicious treats. I’m a firm believer in moderation. I really like the 80/20 rule. Eat really healthy food 80% of the time and don’t worry too much about 20%.
My husband and I like to eat well all week but occasionally we will indulge. It helps us stay on track and have our favorite treats without going overboard and feeling guilty.
Party Tip: Scan the entire buffet to decide what I want to eat before serving myself.
Choose a smaller plate if available (like a salad plate versus a dinner plate) to keep from overserving myself—because, I can always go back for seconds of a favorite food.
Fill ¾ of my plate with healthier options like fruit and veggies but give myself permission to enjoy something indulgent.
Drink Wisely and Up Your Water Intake
While wining and dining is fun, flex your self-control by either limiting yourself or making tradeoffs. If you’re going to have that delicious cup of hot chocolate, skip the peppermint bark and marshmallows. As for alcoholic beverages, treat yourself to one specialty drink. Instead of refilling with a second, stick to low-calorie drinks such as vodka-water with lime for the remainder of the night. In between drinks, have a glass of water. Drinking too much can lead to eating too much.
DRINK MORE WATER. Not only does upping your water intake help you slim down, but it also makes your skin smoother, your eyes brighter, and can give you that overall healthy glow. During the holidays, when we tend to overindulge in those not-so-healthy foods, it’s important to drink even more water than you normally do. It will help flush out the holiday party food and drinks. Plus it will also keep you full so that you don’t end up thinking you’re hungry when you’re really just thirsty.
Party Tip: Water can be so boring when we’re feeling festive so I like to dress up sparkling water with some pomegranate juice, lime juice, cranberry juice or a combo of all 3 and serve it in a champagne flute. Not only will the sparkling water hydrate you but you’ll also save around 100 calories per cocktail compared to a glass of champagne.
There are so many ways we can make sure to fit self-care and staying healthy into our holiday routines. You just have to make sure to make it a priority.
Do you have a helpful tactic for avoiding excess holiday pounds?
Share your best tips in the comments below. I’ll feature my favorite suggestions on Instagram.
Happy Healthy Holidays.
XO Simply Beachy
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