For many, Thanksgiving kicks off a bout of holiday eating that lasts through Halloween treats, Christmas dinners, and New Year’s benders. An overabundance of calorie-dense, high sugar foods can prove to be a set back to any healthy lifestyle.
Here are 5 things you can do to still enjoy the holidays AND stay true to feeling your best.
The holidays are a time for connecting with friends, family and loved ones. These special occasions are a part of any healthy lifestyle because they contribute to our emotional health, which trickles down into other determinants of health.
Many holiday foods are high in sodium, which can leave us feeling dehydrated and foggy. Alcoholic beverages also deplete the body of water, making it that much more important to make sure that our water intake is adequate the day of a special event. Aim for 2-3L a day and make water your beverage of choice as often as possible.
Getting in your 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day is just as important during the holidays as any time. Exercise helps post-prandial digestion and promotes excess energy being used to fuel glycogen muscle stores as opposed to adipose (fat) tissue. Get in your workout because it makes you feel good, NOT because you need to “burn what you ate” or“earn your turkey”. Food should never be a transactional relationship with exercise!
A combination of lean protein and high fibre foods like non-starchy vegetables and complex carbohydrates (i.e. brown rice, quinoa, millet) promotes satiety - or feeling full longer.
Bring attention to what it is you are eating. Take small bites and savour each mouthful. Pay attention to taste, texture, smells.Appreciate the effort that went into making the food. Enjoy the food right from the first bite. By eating slowly and with intention, we can reach the point of satiety - as opposed to belly-aching over fullness.
Coach Maria can takes a big-picture approach when helping people improve their eating habits. In addition to personal goals, she considers emotional and physical health, sleep, stress and other lifestyle factors to create a tailored plan that is sustainable and moves you towards your health and fitness goals. For more information on how a nutrition coach can support your journey, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org