Six Steps to a Healthy Holiday Season
By the time you read this, it may be Thanksgiving already.
Which means we’ve hit the beginning of the holiday season. That marathon sprint that begins with Thanksgiving and ends with New Year’s Day.
Many people dread this time of year more than they look forward to it. Stress from shopping, parties, travel…it can be easy to get caught up in the drudgery. Staying healthy can also be a challenge during the holidays.
Fear not. Here are seven simple steps you can take to make the holiday season a little easier and a little healthier:
Step 1: Plan Ahead
Everything is easier with a plan…and the holidays are no exception.
Make lists and be organized. You’ll feel more in control.
And rather than being overwhelmed, you’ll get some satisfaction from checking each item off your list.
Step 2: Don’t Be a Couch Potato
Don’t let exercise fall by the wayside because you’re busy.
Exercise isn’t just good for your body. The endorphins released during exercise will keep your mood elevated and will make stress easier to manage. You’ll also sleep better.
Step 3: Eat Smart
Holiday parties, holiday meals, holiday treats…just thinking about all that rich, delicious food can make you feel like you’re putting on weight.
Study after study shows that the average American gains 1-2 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Doesn’t seem like much, right?
The problem is…that weight doesn’t always get lost after the holidays. Instead, it adds up year after year. Better to avoid that 1-2 pound gain in the first place if you can.
Here are some ways to enjoy your holiday treats without guilt:
- For each party or meal, pick one “treat” from these four: bread, alcohol, carb-rich side dishes (like rice or stuffing), and dessert. Okay, maybe two…but no more.
- Look for healthy alternatives like vegetables, protein, and whole grains.
- Stay hydrated…this will help to keep your stomach full.
Step 4: Watch the Booze
Holiday parties can mean more drinking than usual.
And alcohol is full of empty calories. Each glass of wine or beer can amount to 100-200 calories. Mixed drinks can add twice as much. And a glass of spiked eggnog can be 400 calories or more.
So pace yourself and sip slowly.
It’s also a good idea to drink a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage. You’ll stay hydrated and you’ll reduce your consumption of alcohol.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to have a designated driver to get you home safely.
Step 5: Schedule Some Down Time
Don’t forget to give yourself some time to relax and unwind around all the holiday rush.
Watch your favorite movie, take a walk, do some yoga, or get a massage. Do whatever you need to do to give yourself a break from all the activity.
Step 6: Don’t Stress
In response to stress, your body releases cortisol…which can increase blood pressure, increase heart rate, and cause inflammation.
Take a break when you feel yourself getting stressed out.
And try to keep things in perspective. This holiday season will come and go just like the others have.
Renew Youth Can Help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed going into the holidays, how about a hormone check-up with Renew Youth? We can test your hormones, and make sure imbalances aren’t keeping you from getting the most out of your holiday season.
Call us at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to schedule your free evaluation.