The holidays are in full swing, and while it’s a great time to catch up with family, take time away from the daily work grind, and indulge in delicious food, we also know how stressful the holidays can be. With all the planning, cooking, traveling and shopping, it can be easy to lose track of our health goals.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve put together a few tips to help you stay at the top of your game amidst all the holiday cheer.
Whether it’s taking a class at your local gym, going for a jog in your neighborhood, or walking your dog, make time for it. Just like you make time to cook for your family and plan for the holidays, getting your body moving deserves its own time. Make it a priority. Not only are you getting your blood pumping and strengthening your heart and other muscles, you’re also increasing your body’s production of endorphins, those chemicals known to induce that “runner’s high.”
Sit Less, Stand More
Standing desks, anyone? These are all the rage in the workspace, and for good reason. Research has suggested that sitting for long periods of time may be a factor in several chronic diseases, including diabetes and obesity. Sitting is even a risk factor for early death. Scary stuff.
Cooking is a great time to stand. And while you gather around family and friends munching on appetizers or having a drink, opt to stand rather than sit. After dinner, go for a walk instead of settling into the couch for the night.
Know Your Hunger
This may seem like a no-brainer. My stomach growls, I’m hungry right? Let’s go a little deeper… because understanding the difference between hunger and appetite can be a powerful tool when it comes to avoiding unnecessary calories this holiday season.
Hunger is the physical need for food — your stomach is growling, or you have hunger pangs. Your body is telling you it needs food, and you should give it the fuel it needs.
When you think appetite, think cravings. You don’t actually need food, but you want food. You know when you smell the fresh pretzels at the mall? That is your appetite. So when you are tempted to head back for a second serving, listen to your body. Are you really hungry, or is it your appetite talking?
Now trust us, we’ve all had that experience where it seems like all the food in the world isn’t enough to fill us up. Stress can be a big cause of this. In that case, we turn to 5-HTP, which can increase levels of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone, while reducing stress-related cravings.
Water, Water, Water
We know there will be plenty of other beverage options around, and while you can most certainly enjoy them, don’t forget about good ol’ H2O. A few glasses of the stuff will help you avoid dehydration and keep you feeling energized, while also helping to keep your digestive tract flowing — something we all need with all that food!
Plus, water has been shown to help with weight loss as it can boost your metabolism and increase your feeling of fullness. Even better, it’s free!
Enjoy this holiday season and stay well!