10 tips on How to Stay Healthy Over the Winter Holidays
Updated: Dec 20, 2019
It's that time of the year, folks! I might be a little more excited about my mom's food than all the Christmas presents and stuff, but hey there's nothing wrong with that.
Staying healthy over Christmas is not that hard, it just takes a little effort and mindfulness.
Have a look at my top tips on how I will tackle this period of the year:
1. Drink with Moderation
Christmas might be the time for all those warm glasses of mulled wine and just wine in general, but we should not justify the 6th glass of wine consumed on the same day by the fact that it’s Christmas and ‘tis the season to be jolly!
It is indeed the season of family gatherings and unforgettable moments spent together with your loved one, therefore you might want to cut down on the alcohol so you actually remember these moments.
Here are some numbers to demonstrate how many calories a nice glass of wine can pack:
Large glass (250ml) of average strength red wine = 214 calories = one bag of Cheesy Wotsits. A bottle of average strength red wine = 644 calories = 14 jaffa cakes or McDonald's Cheeseburger and medium fries. Large glass of medium dry white wine = 190 calories = two and a half digestive biscuits.
As in every other aspect in life, moderation is key, treat wine as a delicacy and enjoy a glass or two on special occasions.
2. Consume lots of fruits
As the weather is getting colder and colder outside it is important to get you vitamins and minerals in, to help you stay in good health. Make sure that your Christmas Shopping List enables you to get enough fruit to fill up the fruit bowl and get your recommended daily portion of fruit and veg. Fruits like oranges, clementines, pomegranate, persimmon, pears and nuts are perfect for snacking in between meals or while watching Home Alone with the family.
Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato, beetroot, brussel sprouts and pumpkin are perfect side dish options for the Christmas Meal.
(FYI: Wine is not a grape salad, it doesn’t count!)
Top tip: Smoothie bowls
Use Sambazon for the acai fix!
3. Get out of the house
There’s nothing better than building your first snowman or snowwoman of the year after a fresh snowfall!
Take some time off cooking and cleaning and enjoy the great outdoors with your beloved ones. Snowball fights, rope towing in the snow, ice hockey and ice skating are some of the best ways to burn off some extra energy. Make sure no one gets hurt (physically and emotionally) in the process.
If you got no kids to play outside with, then go for a walk after dinner, walk the dog, walk the neighbours dog, play with the dog, no matter whose dog it is!
Also, fresh crisp are will help with better sleep, while a nice stroll will aim digestion, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on that one!
4. Increase the number of your strengths workouts
You’ve worked so hard all year to gain muscle, so why should you risk wrecking your progress over the winter holidays? It is important to increase the number of your strength workouts in order to maintain muscle mass, so if you’re less of a runner then you are in for a win, because you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights as you’d if you went for a long run. Also, those extra calories might even help you get a new PB in the process!
5. Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is even more important during the holidays, since most of us consume more alcohol than any other times of the year. Even on nights out, it is important that you drink enough water. Don’t worry if your friends are offering to buy you drinks but you ask for sparkling water with lemon/lime. After all, who wants a bad hangover anyways?
6. Make sure you consume protein with each of your meals
In order to feel satisfied and stay fuller for longer, it is essential that you try to incorporate some kind of protein with each meal. Getting a good amount of protein in each meal is therefore beneficial for lessening cravings for potentially unhealthy snacks between meals. Helping to maintain muscle mass during a calorie deficit. For example, eggs in any form are an amazing breakfast option, this will keep you satisfied till lunch time.
7. Carefully select treats
Treats are allowed during the festive season, but you have to choose them wisely. A good plan would be to only eat treats that are available during Christmas only and not goodies that are readily available year round.
8. Catch up with friends over fitness related events
Plan on seeing your friends over the Christmas Holidays for fitness related catch ups. This is so much better than going for brunch only. Why not go for a yoga or spin class together with your girls and then enjoy a nice and nourishing lunch together afterwards. Also, signing up for sport related events, or trying out the new class at your local gym together could be a lot of fun.
9. Mindful eating
If you really think about it, the food around Christmas isn't actually that bad. It's the portion sizes that seem to get to us. You may be looking forward to the pigs in blankets, but you don't have to pile seven on your plate. Keep things realistic and enjoy the food in moderation.
A really good tip is to not to eat till you feel so full, you can’t even move. Yes, the food might smell delicious and look tasty, but do you really want to slump on the sofa and complain about how much you’ve just eaten?
Also, try not to go back for seconds and prioritize time when eating. Eating slower will not only lead to better meal satisfaction, but you'll better your digestion and actually realise when you feel full up.
10. Enjoy your time with your loved ones!
Staying fit during the holidays shouldn’t sounds like a chore, after all it is the season to be jolly. Make sure you don’t go crazy and choose gym session over spending time with your family and loved ones. Time them right and you’ll be able to do both!
Don’t restrain yourself from foods you love, instead, enjoy them in smaller portions, or maybe share them with your family. (hah! Jokes, no one likes to share their favourite treats)