For most of the year, you probably feel pretty good about your health goals. You’re following all of the wellness tips you’ve found online, exercising regularly, and seeing results in the way you look and feel. Awesome!
So why is it so much harder to feel your best when the holiday season comes around? We have an answer for you — at least where nutrition is concerned.
Bulldog leader and certified nutrition therapy practitioner Haley Halteman says.
“We see the holidays as a time to fall off the clean eating bandwagon, telling ourselves we will fix it in the new year. It creates this sense of dread surrounding holiday food and parties, while simultaneously stimulating our craving to consume as much ‘forbidden’ food as possible before the holidays are over.”
Don’t Worry, You’ve Got This.
We don’t want you to feel dread! It’s the holiday season, after all! Shouldn’t you be frolicking in the snow and spending time with loved ones and watching cozy movies on TV?
With Haley’s help, we’ve put together these seven wellness tips to help you manage your nutrition during this extra special time of year.
Prep veggie snacks.
We are very pro-snacks around here. Snacking is the best!
There is, however, a trick to strategic snacking around the holiday season… and we’re here to let you in on the secret.
Veggies are always a good call, but they’re especially beneficial to have on hand throughout the month of December, when your meals may be heavier or richer than usual. Eating plenty of greens when you’re feeling hungry between meals will help balance out all that indulgent goodness. It will also give you some extra energy!
Cut up your fave raw veggies at the beginning of the week and store them in portions in your fridge. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Image shot by: Johnny McClung
You’ll probably see this on any list of wellness tips — and for good reason!
According to Harvard Health, generally healthy people should drink between four and six cups of water every day. Staying hydrated ensures that nutrients and oxygen are carried to your cells, aids digestion, normalizes blood pressure and heartbeat, regulates body temperature, and supports your bod getting rid of the toxins it doesn’t need.
An added benefit of drinking plenty of H2O during the holiday season? It can help you to stay more in tune with your appetite. Haley tell us that your body’s thirst signals may be disguised as hunger — sneaky! If your body seems to be telling you that it’s hungry, try having a glass of water first. That might be just what you need!
Have small meals throughout the day.
You’ve probably received invitations to your fair share of holiday meals and parties this season. Fun! We’re willing to bet that those events will be chock full of delicious food options… some of which might not fit into your usual wellness regimen.
Instead of stressing about the parts of your food intake you can’t control during the holiday season (because you’re a guest, etc.), be a little bit more intentional about the parts that you can. Haley suggests that you prioritize smaller, nutrient-dense, well-rounded meals throughout the day. Eating small meals every few hours will help eliminate any temptation to overeat.
Duke Health also tells us that “grazing” — AKA eating small meals more frequently — is a good way to moderate metabolism. A healthy metabolism will help your body to better process your favorite seasonal sweets. So graze away!
Drink tea before bed.
Tea cup by: Morgan Sessions
A steaming hot bevvy before bed is a cozy addition to any nighttime routine, but it may also support your health. Dandelion root tea can be especially beneficial.
Dandelion root, according to Haley, is well known for its power to detoxify the liver, which is the organ most affected by holiday imbibing. If you like to celebrate the season with plenty of toasting, a little dandelion root tea in the evening will go a long way toward cleansing your body post-party.
Your organs do their best detoxifying at night, which is why this wellness tip is specifically recommended for bedtime.
Your food is so good and you can’t get it in your mouth fast enough. We’ve been there… especially during the holiday season! But remember — it’s not a race. Try to take a deep breath and actually enjoy your meal.
When you eat more slowly, Haley says, you give your body a chance to tell you that it’s actually full before you’re on the other side of overeating. It also improves digestion processes.
Your family will thank you for following this wellness tip, too, since it will give you a chance to enjoy their company for a little bit longer. You might even savor your food more than ever while you’re at it!
Prioritize physical activity.
Don’t let all of the (fun and amazing) distractions of the holiday season throw you off entirely from your exercise routine. It’s cool to take a day or two off here and there, but you really will feel better inside and out if you try to make time for movement a few times a week, no matter how much family you have visiting or how much shopping needs to be done. If all else fails, you can even do a full body workout in the comfort of your own home!
If you tend to get stressed around the holiday season, regular fitness should help take the edge off. According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, exercise helps relieve stress, improve mood, and increase energy. On top of that, Haley says that activity supports the lymphatic system as it flushes toxins out of your body.
To sum it up, get moving!
Keep yoga in your routine!
While we’re on the subject of moving your body, may we suggest… yoga?
We’re partial, of course, to yoga as one of the best forms of physical exercise out there, but it really does have some special properties that will support healthy nutrition and digestion during this festive time of the year. All that twisting and stretching (and a little sweating, too!) will help you get all of those icky toxins out of your body so that you can continue to enjoy the celebrations with your loved ones.
There are plenty of classes ready to stream through bulldog online, so you can reap those benefits whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for you.
These 7 wellness tips will help you manage your nutrition this holiday season when temptation it high.
- Eat your veggies! Prep raw vegetables at the beginning of the week for easy snacking between more indulgent meals.
- Drink up. Stay hydrated throughout the day so you can stay connected with your appetite. Drinking water also helps your body detoxify, regulate temperature, maintain steady blood pressure, and so much more!
- Fuel up little by little. Eat small, complete meals throughout the day so you don’t feel the urge to binge at the first sight of a favorite holiday treat.
- Try some bedtime tea. Sip on dandelion root tea before bed, especially after a night of holiday drinking!
- Eat slowly. Slow down the pace of your meals so you can actually hear your body when it tells you it’s full.
- Get moving! Keep up with an exercise regimen throughout the chaos of the holiday season. You need those benefits for your physical and mental health.
- Hit the yoga mat. Stream a bulldog online class wherever you are.
Like you, bulldoggers, we are so here for all of the yummy treats that this special season has to offer. And we’re sure that your friends and loved ones have a handful of one-in-a-million holiday recipes that you don’t want to miss out on, even in the name of sticking to your wellness goals.
The good news? You don’t have to make a choice! It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
By integrating these seven wellness tips into your daily life this holiday season, you can more easily find the delicate balance between indulging and feeling good.
Think You’re Ready to Hit the Mat?