It’s that time of the year again. The season for endless celebrations, parties and socializing. With all the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, it’s not unlikely to find it hard to stay on-track when it comes to wellness. Late nights socializing and attending parties may be a given within the next few weeks but this doesn’t mean we should completely succumb to everyone else’s mindset of the Holidays being an excuse to just forget about staying healthy.
Here, I write 6 simple hacks to staying healthy this season. The most common, and I mean common, question I get is how not to put on the weight during Christmas and New Year’s, knowing how much we all like to bond over food and drinks. After all, who needs another resolution in 2017 when you have no trouble keeping at it now?
1. Eat before you head out.
Last minute shopping for gifts and potluck food, parties left and right –they all take a toll on your health (and stress levels). Next thing you know, you’re gobbling up all the revel bars at the next party you’re at. At home, you have full control over what you serve and what you feed yourself. Shop for healthy items that are easy and quick to prepare so that before you go rushing out to that next party, you’re sure to grab a bite of something healthy.
2. Keep serving dishes off the same table where you dine.
Ideally, a few steps away too. Try not to make it convenient for you and your guests to go for a second or even third serving. Having all the food within reach increases the chances of you getting more than what you really need. According to Tom Rath, author of Eat Move Sleep, we eventually decide against eating more if going for seconds means we’d have to get off our seats and walk towards where the food is. If you are a guest at a party, seat yourself away from the serving area and take your time chewing on your food.
3. Fill yourself up with the healthiest items first.
There’s a reason why salads are served at the start of the meal. Find delicious, yet healthy items and stuff your plate with these first. Vegetables are low in calories yet are filling and nutritious. Eat less of the fried, oily food, animal products (or none of this, at all!) and sugar. This doesn’t mean you CAN’T have dessert the entire season, I mean come on, it’s Christmas! But do be mindful of how much and how often you consume them. Having sweets at every party when you’re going to three in a day may not be a good idea.
4. Watch what you’re sippin’.
I, personally, don’t enjoy drinking. There are days, though, when a few sips of red wine brings comfort (especially when the weather is nippy). Not everyone’s like this, though. So if you wish to socialize over drinks, lay off the heavy ones such as beer. According to Strength and Conditioning Coach, Chappy Callanta, mixed drinks or cocktails are a no-no since they usually come with simple syrup or other forms of sweetener and soda. Either drink hard liquor straight or on the rocks. “If you must drink, I recommend red wine which when taken in moderation (like 1 glass) can be beneficial to your heart”, Callanta says. At least I’m doing something right! He also suggests always having a glass with you at social engagements so you can stick to your one-drink-limit.
5. Get on the dance floor and move.
Don’t just sit on your butt at a party. Get up on that floor and drag your best friends (or any loved one) with you. Dancing burns a minimum of 180 calories every half hour, according to Harvard Health. If you go hard and all-out, well, you just may be able to burn more!
6. Exhale all the holiday stress.
Be it five minutes of meditation or a full hour of yoga, make time to slow things down for you. While the world will not adjust to your pace, you still have the power to zen the ish out of everything that causes unnecessary stress to you. If you have time to scroll through your Instagram newsfeed, trust me, you have time for this. You don’t need fancy apps, voice recordings or videos to have a meditation practice. All it takes is a few minutes wherein you are comfortably seated, eyes lightly closed, listening and at the same time guiding yourself through each breath. Find five minutes too long? Try 50 long and deep breaths first and see how amazing that feels after.
Diffusing Lavender essential oils has helped me a lot in staying calm too. And this sexier version of the Hot Cocoa has got even my non-vegan friends excited for the Holiday weather.
Got Holiday Hacks to share? Comment below or send me an email through firstname.lastname@example.org Cheers!