The holidays are meant for celebrating, spending quality time with loved ones, and enjoying homecooked meals and deliciously festive foods. Yet many of us spend this joyous time restricting and obsessing over what we eat. Here are 5 tips that will allow you to fully enjoy this holiday season—without restrictions—while still maintaining your health.
- Give Yourself Freedom
The holiday season is a time to do things differently. Now is not the time to calorie count or obsess over the ingredients of your mother’s famous dessert you enjoy once a year. Go ahead, acknowledge and celebrate this special time and remember, indulging a couple days a year doesn’t make you unhealthy and isn’t going to outweigh 12 months of well-balanced eating.
- Tune into Your Hunger Cues
We often confuse appetite for hunger or have a difficult time distinguishing between the two. Before you eat, take a moment to ask yourself if you’re actually hungry. Is your stomach growling? Does it feel empty? Or are you perhaps bored or emotional? Asking yourself these questions will help you identify your triggers and keep you from eating for reasons other than real, physical hunger.
- Be Present
Whether it’s the holidays or not, mindless eating happens. We often eat while scrolling through social media, watching TV, or replying to emails. Instead, take a step back and be present in the moment of your meal. Pay attention to the smell, taste, texture of your food and really savor each bite. This can be an excellent way to slow down and eat less by giving your brain enough time to signal that you are full.
- Don’t Skip Meals
And in particular breakfast! This is the most important meal of the day no matter what time of year it is. Aim for a high-protein breakfast which can keep your blood sugar balanced to avoid crashes and cravings. Lastly, make sure to include a protein and fiber source to each meal to aid in feeling full and satiated throughout the day.
- Keep up Healthy Habits
Remain consistent and stick to the basics of keeping hydrated, getting enough sleep, and regular exercise. Whether you decide to keep to your tried and true exercise routine or switch it up with a nature walk or new outdoor activity, keep moving. Prioritizing these fundamentals will keep you feeling your best and staying strong at what is usually a hectic time of year.
Allie Alves is a Integrative Nutritional Health Coach with the Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine. You can schedule a consult with her by calling us at 310-451-8880 or emailing email@example.com.