Top ten tips to have a healthier Christmas
Let’s be honest, the Christmas season is all about indulgence and overeating, which often comes with the holiday weight gain. Most people get easily carried away with the festivities of the season, and that can quickly have a negative impact on their overall health.
However, there’s a few ways you can keep your health on track during the season. Here are top ten tips for having a happy and healthy Christmas. –Portion Control is Important: The truth is that you can have almost anything you want this Christmas as long as it is in minimal portions. Yes, you can have a piece of cake, just not the whole cake. Be very mindful of your portions and bear in mind that you don’t have to overeat just because it is Christmas.
Limit Alcohol Intake: The recommended amount of alcohol is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Prepare your mind that you would have only one glass of wine or a bottle of beer. Once you have another glass, it’s would be hard to say ‘No’ to another glass; so it’s always better to have a plan and stick to it. Sip on sparkling water in between drinks to help minimize alcohol intake. This will reduce the stress on your liver during the holidays and you’ll feel better overall.
Stay Active: The best way to burn off those extra calories gotten from overindulging is to exercise a little bit more. Staying active through exercise is one of the most important ways that you can stay healthy all year round, most especially during the holiday season. Exercising would help burn off those extra calories consumed during the holidays. Try to make it fun by organizing fun family workouts that the whole family can do together. Exercise helps relieve stress, improve brain and heart function and makes you feel good overall during the holiday season and afterwards.
Stay hydrated: Keeping water intake up will help to keep you hydrated and keep you from confusing thirst with hunger, preventing mindless eating. This is a tried and tested trick. Water is very filling. If you drink two cups of water before a meal, chances are you would eat less of that meal. During this holiday period, it is advisable to load up on water first before any meal because there would be less space for anything else and therefore resulting in a healthier you throughout the holidays.
Learn to Say No: During this festive period, you will be faced with so many different varieties of foods, it is important to practice healthy nutrition. Learn to say No to the wrong foods! If you have a history of hypertension, please try to limit sodium intake, reduce your intake of saturated fats and foods with added sugars. This means that you have to limit what you eat at parties because most of these foods are sodium-laden, high sugar, fried and fatty foods which will dramatically increase your high blood pressure. Try to eat a healthy meal at home before heading out, to avoid wolfing down junk food. Remember you don’t always have to eat everything you are offered.
Don’t Stress: For some people, the holiday season can be very stressful. Stress increases stress hormones such as cortisol which in turns causes one to crave sugary, fatty foods. Instead of turning to food, it’s better to do some yoga or get a massage to de-stress. It is also helpful to try and identify what may be causing you to be stressed and eliminate the source of the stress. This will prevent stressful overeating during the holidays.
Smart Snacking: Its common to underestimate the calories in snacks consumed throughout the holidays. You might actually be eating healthy at mealtimes but ruining it with your snack choices. A slice of cake here, a bag of chips there, and a scoop of ice cream here. Try to be mindful of exactly how much you are consuming. Try to load up of veggies and fruits instead, as these are lower in calories, more filling, and healthier for you in the long run.
Fight Seasonal Depression: The holiday season can trigger depression in some people. Practicing self-care such as exercising regularly, eating healthy and maintaining regular sleep patterns may help alleviate depression. If you feel alone, it is advisable to talk to friends and reach out to family during this time to help deal with seasonal depression that is usually common around this time.
Put a Smile on Someone’s Face: Recent studies have shown that Investing in others is a sure way to achieve happiness. No matter how little, whether taking Christmas lunch to the homeless, or visiting sick ones in the hospital, or perhaps even getting gifts for a stranger. Endeavor to put a smile on someone’s face this Christmas season and you will have a happier Christmas.
Enjoy Yourself: Christmas is celebrated just once a year. Don’t spend the whole time overthinking your weight that you fail to enjoy the moment. Remember that planning ahead is important. Make time for exercise and eat nutritious meals, and socialize with friends and family, and just have fun. And even if you end up gaining a little bit of weight, remember you can always get back on track in the New Year.
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