By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
The holiday season is now in full swing and with the festivities come lots of parties, heavy comfort foods and high calorie drinks. Wondering how to stick with your wellness goals during this hectic season? Whether you indulged in too much gravy-laden turkey, grandma’s famous cookies or imbibed in an excess of wine, starting off your day with health in mind lets you move forward without guilt and regret. Here are 10 tips for getting back on track and cruising through the season healthfully.
1.) Start Fresh
Today is a new day to make healthy eating choices. Remember that practice makes it possible.
2.) Drink More Water
Drink at least 1 Liter/ 32 oz/4 cups more than usual. Being under hydrated can lead to an increase in cravings for sweets and salts. Plus we need extra water to help our body process alcohol and excess food out of our system.
3.) Get Moving
– Go outside for a walk
– Meet a friend to walk at the mall – walk first, then shop 🙂
– Take a yoga, Zumba, Barre or any of your favorite exercise classes
4.) Eat Breakfast
Start your day off right with a healthy breakfast. Not only can it get your metabolism going, it’s one of the 4 key behaviors identified as crucial for maintaining weight loss.
5.) Avoid Sweets in the Morning
Keep those cravings for leftover pie at bay by starting your day with a different flavor profile like savory, sour or tart and dense in fiber and nutrients like protein, vitamins/minerals. Cinnamon has also been shown to help keep blood sugar in check which can help curb cravings and dampen the drive to overeat.
Add walnuts, cinnamon, fresh cranberries or almond butter to oatmeal instead of maple syrup, sugar or honey.
6.) Have Vegetables for Breakfast
– Fresh Juice!
– Blended smoothie with greens
– Add spinach, tomato and avocado to eggs (OK the last two are technically fruits but you get the point)
7.) Pack a Healthy Lunch from Home
You will be able to consume more nutrients and also limit your exposure to seasonal specials abundant in food courts, restaurants and work cafeterias.
8.) Consume More Crucifers
Cruciferous vegetables contain important phytonutrients that help the liver detoxify naturally. Eating and drinking more of these nutrient dense foods will boost your body’s ability to process common holiday offenders like sugars, alcohol, caffeine out safely and more efficiently.
9.) Keep on Walkin’
If your workplace is anything like mine, there are candies, cookies and cakes at every corner of the office. Whether it’s leftovers from someone’s holiday party or a kind gift from clients it can be hard to say no. Your best defense, just pass it all by, unless of course someone decided to gift a fruit basket or veggie platter – in that case indulge and enjoy!
10.) Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Digestion begins in the brain so seeing food can lead to a stronger desire to eat it, even if you’re not hungry. Get rid of leftovers that are not part of your healthy eating plan.
– Send food home with guests
– Freeze your leftovers
– Donate to a local food bank or shelter