For most of us it seems the holidays are a time when all our hard work to eat healthy, exercise, and generally take good care of ourselves goes completely out the window. By January 1st we are making all kinds of resolutions to get back on track. Well, this year doesn’t have to be filled with regret and resolutions. Instead, have a plan ready ahead of time to help you through the season without completely undoing everything you have worked so hard throughout the year to accomplish.
Here are some simple tips for surviving the holidays:
- Plan ahead: Use your day timer to track your social engagements, and eat wisely throughout the day so your can enjoy a night out, guilt free. Start your day with fiber, pack some smart snacks such as nuts, seeds, and fruit, and have a salad with some protein for lunch.
- Keep hydrated: Be sure to drink lots of water. This should be a habit all year round but with the holidays at hand we tend to replace water with other beverages. Remember to drink at least 2 liters each day. The best way to track your intake is to have water with you at all times. When you are at a party alternate your alcoholic drink with a glass of water.
- Stay on schedule: If you miss your usual Wednesday yoga class or your Friday morning workout, you haven’t blown your entire regime for the year and it is no excuse to take the rest of the holidays off with a promise to get back on track come January one. So you missed a work out, go tomorrow. This is another way planning ahead comes in handy. Along with scheduling social engagements, schedule your “holiday exercise routine”. This might be significantly different than your usual one but at least you are still committing to taking care of yourself.
- Move: Always look for opportunities to move your body. Take an evening walk after dinner, use the stairs instead of the elevator, stand up and walk around when on a phone call.
- Get Sleep: Regular sleep-wake patterns are important component of staying healthy. Late nights disrupt the Circadian Rhythm, leading to increased susceptibility to infection. Try to get several hours of sleep before midnight whenever possible. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, an hour of sleep before midnight is the equivalent to two hours after.
- Mind your manners: The holidays bring many tasty temptations. To allow your body time to catch up with the intake remember to chew your food well and eat slowly. It takes your brain 20 minutes after ingestion to feel satiated.
- Enjoy yourself: If you are going to eat something you normally would not allow yourself, ENJOY it. Studies have shown that guilt-associated-eating does not satisfy the craving; however, people who allow themselves to enjoy a tasty treat find greater satisfaction in their indulgence and have less frequent cravings.
- Come in for a Naturopathic Consult: Don’t wait till January. Come in now and get yourself healthy before the holidays. Naturopathic Medicine helps your organs function properly so that the odd indulgence won’t set you back.