This time of year, it’s common for many to overdo it with beverages. People often underestimate the effects that too much alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks can have on their mind and body. Moreover, beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, can add empty, unnecessary calories to your day.
The dry winter weather makes us more susceptible to dehydration so stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to drink eight, eight ounce glasses of water a day, although your hydration needs may vary depending on your size and activity. If you’re consuming alcohol, it’s especially important to stay hydrated. Alternate a glass of water in-between drinks.
Be aware of the calories in the drinks you’re choosing. Beverages mixed with cream and sugary mixers can have upwards of 400+ calories. For example, eggnog can have 300-400 calories per glass! The calories in juices and punches can add up, not to mention the high sugar content.
Cut Back on Caffeine
Too much caffeine can make you jittery, irritable and cause sleep issues. If you feel like you need an afternoon energy boost, skip the caffeine and try chewing a piece of mint gum, playing an energizing song or going for a quick walk.
Between work, traveling, holiday get-togethers, gift buying, preparing for guests and everything else on your to-do list, it can be hard to find time to stick with your regular exercise routine. Staying active over the holidays is especially important because you will most likely be consuming more calories than normal. Just because you can’t make time for your regular workout, doesn’t mean you can’t add activity into your day.
Add it to Your Calendar
If possible, stick to your regular workout routine as much as possible. Block off 30-60 minutes on your calendar a few days per week and break a sweat!
Get Active Together
Just because you have a house full of guests, does not mean you have to sit around and eat all day. Consider planning healthy activities like ice skating, walking around the neighborhood to look at holiday decorations, hiking, building a snowman, snowshoeing – the options are endless!
Little Things Add Up
If it’s an extra busy week, add in little opportunities for additional activity throughout your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park at the very end of the parking lot when at the grocery store, and if you carry out your groceries instead of using a cart for an added arm workout! Try completing a few desk exercises at work.
The holidays can be a happy yet stressful time. Our calendars are over-scheduled, we’re frazzled preparing for guests and parties or worried about the cost of buying gifts and hosting friends and family. Take care of yourself this year and manage your stress. Focus on being mindful, present and thankful for your family, friends, health and well-being.
Simplify Your Commitments
It’s okay to say no! It’s important to not over-commit yourself. Only schedule the happy hours and parties that mean the most to you. Your waistline (and your wallet) will thank you. DO schedule time for yourself. Put a date on the calendar where you relax and take care of yourself: whether that’s a long bubble bath, quality time with family or alone-time doing a favorite hobby.
Be Mindful + Disconnect
The holidays call for celebration and quality time spent with loved ones. Stay present with friends and family and remember what matters most during this special season. While technology makes life easier, it can also make prevent us from being truly present. Stop checking Facebook, put away your phone and be present.
Pay it Forward
Be kind. The point of the holiday season is to be thankful and gracious for what we have. Take a moment every day to reflect on what you’re truly grateful for and pay it forward. Small acts of kindness, such as shoveling your neighbor’s driveway, being courteous to employees at stores, inviting an elderly neighbor over for dinner and smiling and complimenting a stranger can spread joy throughout your community.
Let’s be honest, eating healthy over the holidays can be the hardest task to accomplish. The key word here is going to be balance. Whether you’re traveling, hosting a big meal or hitting up holiday parties – we got you covered with healthy eating tips.
When You’re on the Go
If you’re traveling over the holidays, eat a healthy, well-balanced meal at home before you leave for your trip. Also, make a healthy snack pack filled with portable foods like nuts, apples, hummus and vegetables and low-sugar granola or protein bars. If you need to eat out, head to a local grocery store instead of a fast food location for healthier, whole food options.
Portions at Parties
You’re at a party and there are trays of cheese, mini appetizers and cookies. They’re small so they can’t have too many calories, right? Wrong. Try to keep a count of how many bite-size appetizers you’re eating. One easy way to manage portions is to use a smaller plate. Also, make sure you’re filling up at least half your plate with healthy options to maintain a balance.
Navigating Holiday Feasts
Skip the pre-dinner breads and strategically placed dishes of nut mixes and candies. This will save hundreds of calories and you now have room to indulge in the decadent, once-a-year dishes you truly enjoy. Savor in moderate proportions and avoid second helpings.
Congratulations to the November HEALTHpoints winners of NutriBullet Blenders!
- Martina – Colorado Springs
- Sara – Golden
- Vickie – Yuma
- Kara – Denver
How do you become a lucky winner? Just earn 300 HEALTHpoints and you will automatically be entered into the monthly drawing. In December we are giving away three incentaHEALTH Smart Scales.