Do you struggle to stay healthy during the holidays? Weight gain, getting sick, lack of sleep, travel, parties, stress, and tempting desserts are all challenges this time of year. The good news is, by following the seasonal secrets below you can enjoy the holidays without feeling deprived, gaining weight or sabotaging your scores.
Healthier Holiday Tips
- Eat More Mindfully
Increase your mindfulness at the table by taking a few deep breaths and giving thanks for what’s on your plate. Take smaller bites, chew your food thoroughly and engage your senses. This greatly improves digestion, increases nutrient absorption and helps you feel full faster.
- Hydrate With Water
Hydration improves metabolism, detoxification, digestion and overall health. Hydrate each morning with a large glass of water and pack a BPA-free bottle to refill on the course. Fresh cranberries and citrus slices are a delicious way to infuse your water with flavor.
- Start With Protein
Enjoy plenty of quality protein at the beginning of each meal, especially breakfast to set the tone for healthy choices the rest of the day. Protein promotes fat burning, reduces cravings, and provides high satiation.
- Plan Balanced Meals
Skipping meals or restricting calories can result in overeating and poor food choices. Instead, eat 3 balanced meals and 1-2 snacks that focus on quality protein, natural fats, and non-starchy veggies. Plan ahead of time so you don’t end up “starving” with unhealthy temptations.
- Strategize Your Splurges
Prevent feeling deprived or overly strict with your nutrition by planning two “cheat” meals per week to indulge. Be sure to plan these meals ahead of time so every meal doesn’t become a cheat meal.
- Snack on Nuts
Natural fats, such as nuts, are your best friend for thriving this festive season. Fats help aid fat loss, stabilize blood sugar levels, add flavor, decrease sugar cravings, promote satiation and increase nutrient absorption. Fats also lower the glycemic load of any type of carb (sweet potatoes, pumpkin, etc.), meaning the sugar from that food enters the blood at a slower rate.
- Select Smarter Sweets
Enjoy healthier sweets this season by sweetening with success, favoring fruit for dessert and indulging in dark chocolate. Whether you’re adding them to beverages or baked goods, strive for healthier sweeteners, such as cinnamon, stevia, dates, maple syrup or honey.
- Grab More Greens
Most people eat twice as many grains (especially refined grains) as they do greens, which should be the other way around. Veggies are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Include more veg by juicing, adding to salads/snacks, and using for pasta, wraps and rolls.
- Choose Better Booze
Nix most mixed drinks and beware specialty cocktails that sound like desserts in a glass. Opt for healthier libations made from simple ingredients such as wine, lite beer or a spirit straight-up. Choose natural sweeteners like stevia, fresh fruit or 100 percent fruit juice.
4 Immune Boosters
- Cultured vegetables, such as kraut, kimchi or kvass
- Kombucha (with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving)
- Fresh organic cranberries
- Grass-fed collagen, gelatin or homemade bone broth
4 Golf & Travel-Friendly Foods
- Nuts or Artisana nut squeeze packs with fresh fruit or Alter Eco dark chocolate
- SeaSnax — seaweed chips
- Tanka Bar — wild bison jerky
- Grass-fed whey protein powder, such as Tera’s Whey