It is that time of year where your family comes over, the table is set for food and treats. The decorations and lighting are on point for the room’s ambience with conversations, holiday cheer and the occasional spirits. However, this can be a gathering filled with unexpected sabotages against your health.
Check out these tips to stay healthy this holiday without skipping the holiday cheer.
This is the celebration of the year so don’t compromise your waistline especially after fitting into those new jeans.
Casually indulge your favorite goodies by keeping track of portion size. Counter those empty carbs with fruits and veggies filled with fiber.
Another great way to combat cravings is to have a nutritious snack like string cheese, fruit, nuts or a granola bar in your pocket to change your mindset.
An alternative would be to just say no to “treating yourself” because this trick can trap you into consuming more calories than necessary. Realistically, you probably won’t burn off a 150 calorie treat until after the holidays.
Tweak your favorite holiday foods without busting your belt. Phase in healthy substitutes with these recommendations.
You can trade your mashed potatoes for sweet potatoes instead. Swap the traditional chip dip with a bean or hummus dip alternative. In addition, you can replace the cheesy, creamy soups for broth-based ones. Fill up on water, roasted vegetables or fibrous foods before reaching for a second helping of stuffing or green bean casserole.
To prevent overeating, take a break with a veggie smoothie before or after your meal. Also, chew a strip of gum every 15 minutes before glancing at the buffet. This trick may alter your decision for that extra slice of pie.
Fight Away Germs
You don’t want to be knocked out during the holiday party by a flu or cold bug. So take these precautions before heading out to your next gathering.
You might think it is not that important but washing your hands regularly can reduce germ intake. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to prevent these germs from spreading.
If you are on the way to your health care provider or a drug store, they can accommodate to your annual flu vaccines especially for your kids.
Boost Your Immunity
This is a preventative measure helping you acclimate to weather conditions and possible germs from meeting people along the way.
Eating quality fruits and vegetables with high contents of nutrients such as vitamin A and C increases your immune system.
Also, sprinkle some nuts and seeds in your meals that offer zinc and selenium to combat illness.
Holiday Work Out
When attending social events that can book up your calendar, stay motivated to sneak in a few quick workouts.
If you have a tight schedule, a 15-minute workout twice a day can make up for your morning routine. No time for the gym? Manage your workout time intervals at home with an online tutorial or on a fitness app. Or take a walk around your local park.
Even if you are traveling to your holiday destination, move around the airplane every 60-90 minutes. On the road, pull over and walk around at a rest stop or do a quick set of one minute high intensity work outs.
The holidays are back to back events and gatherings where stress can creep up on you. It could be your dinner preparations, shopping for your child’s toy of the year or you are burned out from overwhelming to-do lists.
Set a few time slots throughout the week for just you. This can be from any of these suggestions: meditating, walking, reading a book, or watching a movie. Do at least one thing every day that makes you happy and helps you to have a positive outlook.
Book a massage session at a salon or at your local mall. Even if you only have 10 minutes, lowering your stress can boost your white blood cell count which will help fight against germs.
There may be a point where you need to stay in and rest and that’s okay. You can catch up on your sleep. Decrease your chances of catching a cold by up to 3 times by sleeping at least 8 hours a night. Skipping your essential sleeping hours and staying up late (especially when you have to be up early) is only going to weaken your immune system.
Moderate Holiday Spirits
You are at a party and want to live a little, we get it. Just be cautious of how much you are in-taking. This not only adds to your daily calories but you could gain a crushing hangover.
Eat a healthy meal before consuming a few drinks to prevent your blood sugar levels from being unbalanced. Also, keep in mind to have a designated driver or share a ride with a friend using Uber or Lyft.
Try to limit yourself with two drinks and alternate with glasses of water to prevent that headache in the morning. Sometimes you can’t prevent the throbbing pain so just in case take a pain reliever like ibuprofen to catch up on your sleep.
Staying hydrated is important after consuming salty meals, spirits and when traveling where altitudes can vary.
Drink about 8 ounces of water every hour if you are in on an airplane.
Up your water if you are at home to 8 glasses a day to prevent bloating and reducing sodium levels.
Water also helps flush out early signs of a cold or flu so increase water intake at this point.
Here are a few safety precautions that you can apply to the home or when traveling.
When preparing your holiday meal avoid cross contamination and check that your food is cooked at the right temperatures. Wash surfaces and store food properly by letting it cool down first.
Keep dangerous foods, toys and drinks out of reach from children. Also, watch out for potential accidents like burns or falls.
Practice fire safety by turning off space heaters, fire places, cooking or lit candles when you are not there to monitor. Lastly, have a back up emergency plan for evacuating in case of fires.