A lot of us start to stress a little during the holidays. A time that is supposed to be fun, relaxing, and spent with loved ones can quickly turn into an overwhelming time of the year. Food plays a large role in our social activities and occasionally we give ourselves a hard time because of all the decadent options that are available on special occasions. Below are a few tips for you to consider to help navigate those holiday treats and hopefully alleviate one source of stress you might experience during this holiday season.
STRESS-FREE HOLIDAY TIPS
PROTEIN OPTIONS ARE YOUR FRIEND— Choose protein options to help you feel fuller longer. Turkey and ham have always been the two main holiday options in my household. Both are excellent sources of protein. They are also treats because I usually don’t have turkey or ham except during the holidays.
VEGGIES ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS— Even if its green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, or other holiday themed vegetable dish, your vegetables have lots of vitamins and minerals. Their nutritional content isn’t suddenly gone just because you are cooking it differently than you would during a non-holiday occasion. Though you might prepare them in a manner that increases their caloric content, they are still a source of micro-nutrients and fiber. Be sure to eat your veggies.
LIMIT ALCOHOL AND OTHER SWEET TREATS— Limit does not mean avoid at all costs. It’s okay to have a drink or two, and maybe a slice of pie, or a cookie. But if these treats are items you would normally limit in your daily diet, then try to maintain some boundaries with them during the holidays. If you know there are certain special treats you only have during the holidays, then be sure to enjoy them and skip the other items that are available as treats the rest of the year. I normally don’t have lemon pie, key lime pie, or pumpkin pie so I would prefer having those sweets instead of chocolate chip cookies that always seem to be around.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER— I always remember to drink my water while I am at the gym and suddenly forget it exists when I’m at home. Water plays a key role in so many body functions. If you feel thirsty be sure to have a glass of water first.
GET 8 HOURS SLEEP/NIGHT— If you think water is important, you should really check out the benefits of 8 hours of sleep, and also the downside if you are falling short on your nightly sleep requirements. Didn’t get enough sleep? Then get a nap during your days off.
GET MOVING— Go for a walk or run at least 30 minutes that day. Don’t try to double up on exercise to “burn off” extra calories that you may have consumed with some holiday treats.
ENJOY LIFE— Enjoy your loved ones and the time you get to spend with them. Seriously. Try to remember what the holidays are about. Be grateful and appreciative of the moments you have with loved ones. Take the time to connect with them, create memories, and LAUGH.
Remember that the holidays are only a handful of days. And no matter what you choose to eat, you always have the opportunity to get back on track the rest of the year. The choices you make with your nutrition on a daily basis, year round, far outweighs any choices you make during the short holiday season.
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