At Cōpare, we love guiding our clients through festive events like birthdays and holidays. While navigating a single-day celebration is a breeze, the winter holidays tend to stretch across days and weeks – from the delicious leftovers post-Thanksgiving to a month filled with parties, cookie swaps, and champagne toasts in December. After the holiday buzz, all that should linger is the smell of gingerbread in the kitchen. To stay on track and embrace a healthy routine during the holidays (or any event), prioritize planning, balance, and moderation. Here are some tips to help you feel your best this time of year.
Hydrate: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help your body flush out toxins. Consider adding some lemon for extra flavor and a boost of vitamin C. Lemon is also detoxifying for the liver, especially when taken in your water first thing in the morning.
Have a plan: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Think ahead and create a plan for nutrient-dense meals that include a balance of proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and healthy fats. I’m not saying don’t eat the pumpkin pie. But eat the other stuff first. Likely, you won’t want the leftover pie, or just a taste will be enough to satisfy.
Review restaurant menus: Before dining out, look up the restaurant menu online earlier in the day. Selecting what you will have (including any substitutions you may make) before you get to the restaurant will mitigate impulsive decisions when you get there. Again, having a plan is a good way to improve your food choices and increase your chance for success in staying in line with your health goals.
Have a savory breakfast: A savory breakfast based on protein, fat, and fiber helps reduce appetite throughout the day and will allow you to arrive at lunch calm and in control. A savory breakfast is also the way to go for all those who need (or want) to control their blood sugar. If your breakfast spikes your glucose, you’ll feel hungry all day long and have cravings for more sugary/high-carb foods and never really feel caught up. Think eggs with avocado toast, a protein smoothie, or smoked salmon with cream cheese and cucumber slices. These meals are a good way to start your day any day of the year!
Portion control: As with the holiday itself, be mindful of portion sizes, and try to avoid overeating. Listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues can help you maintain a healthy balance.
Schedule Your Exercise: Book that exercise class for the morning after the holiday, grab a few buddies to meet at the basketball court, or grab your bestie for a long morning walk. Engage in some light physical activity such as walking, yoga, or stretching to improve circulation and help your body recover from any indulgences.
Restful sleep: Aim for a restful night’s sleep to allow your body to recuperate and recharge. Establish a calming pre-sleep routine to promote relaxation and quality sleep. Limiting sugar and alcohol will help.
Help your body recover faster from the indulgences of the holidays or prevent the need for recovery altogether by having a plan and being mindful as you move through the days leading up to and following the holidays.