5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season
From looking after your health, to keeping an eye on your weight. We all find ourselves factoring in January plans to counteract our festive season.
Well we’ve got some top tips to keep your December healthy and well balanced, even with a few extra mince pies or glasses of bubbly on the menu.
1. Stay active with family and friends
We know it’s harder to stay active as the days get shorter and the rain heavier, especially with lots of gyms and community activity restricted because of Coronavirus.
So, this December we are taking the something is better than nothing approach. Whether it’s daily walk in the park or an at home Yoga video, every step you take towards a more active lifestyle is supporting your health.
Activities are easiest when you’ve made them a habit, so persevere through until lacing up your trainers and stepping outside doesn’t take a second thought.
Getting outside also helps us to get enough sunlight which naturally makes our brains produce serotonin, our ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter, naturally boosting our mood and also helping to regulate melatonin production and our sleep wake cycle.
2. Eat Well
- It’s important to include some protein with every meal, as it promotes fullness and keeps you feeling more satisfied for longer. Reducing hunger and appetite can help with weight management over the holidays.
- Focus on fibre: High fibre meals help you to feel fuller, slow down digestion and helps to keep your gut and your microbiome healthy. It’s an all round winner.
- Avoid processed foods: such as boxed stuffing and store bought cake mixes, these are often full of additives and sugars. Try to make your meals from as much fresh and unprocessed produce as possible.
Fibre rich foods include vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds and of course our very own high fibre Slim Me drinks
3. Snack wisely
During the holiday season, unhealthy snacks like biscuits and chocolates tend to be more visible, try to make sure you always have healthy snack options on hand too, so you at least have a choice to make when you’re opening the fridge for the 6th time.
- Fresh Fruit and Nuts
- Houmous & crudités
- Oatcakes and Cheddar [Yes, we do mean cheese is a healthy snack]
Making the choice: When treats are easy to access, you’re more likely to grab them first without thinking. Keep sweet treats in an opaque tin in the back of the cupboard so you can see and think about your health options first.
Try to be mindful before you grab - set another habit - and always ask yourself three questions before you select your snack
- Am I thirsty? [drink a glass of water]
- Am I bored? [Lace up those trainers/Pull on the gardening gloves]
- Am I hungry? [have a healthy snack to fill you up]
Try to have those treats when you know you can really enjoy and appreciate it, not in the car, in a meeting, or while netflix asks you for the 3rd time if you’re still watching.
Slow down, stop multitasking and mindfully enjoy that gingerbread man your boss's daughter is handing round. Eating mindfully reduces the likelihood of overeating and needlessly going back for more.
4. Sleep Tight
Sleep, or lack of it affects how likely we are to gain weight, our ability to deal with stress, how well our immune system can fight off infection and even the appearance/glow of our skin.
A poor quality diet [disrupted blood sugar balance], alcohol, stress, noise, even central heating can disrupt our sleep patterns. And as these things all come together in the winter months it’s important to prioritise your sleep and sleep environment.
Lack of sleep can promote us to overeat, desperately seeking those quick energy fixes from foods filled with simple sugars. But it has us in a catch 22.
- Keep your bedroom cool, and block out as much light as you can with a sleep mask or curtains.
- Remove electronics from the room and keep an hour before bed to screen free activities.
- Make sure to drink water regularly throughout the day so you’re not glugging it down with dinner and causing early morning wake ups.
- Take a warm bath with magnesium salts in the evening, or a Magnesium rich supplement to aid peaceful sleep.
5. Water before Wine
During the holidays, alcohol, fizzy drinks, and other calorie-rich beverages are prevalent. These drinks contribute a lot of calories to your diet and disrupt blood sugar levels making you crave sugary foods and grab for the less healthy snacks.
- Have a healthy meal or a protein and fibre rich snack before any alcoholic drinks, keeping your blood sugar levels more stable and your head more steady
- For every alcoholic or fizzy drink you have to drink a glass of water. This will reduce your overall alcohol or sugar intake AND keep you hydrated and the headache at bay!
- If you did go a little overboard, checkout our blog on how to best handle the dreaded holiday hangover!
- Check out the Clean Me range for full Liver support for the over-indulged