Staying fit should not be seasonal. However, with the holiday season just around the corner, we understand that stopping yourself from over-indulging in sweet and fatty foods can be quite the challenge. We just can't say no, can we? But why do you want to spoil the festive mood by being fussy about your food or exercise regime?
We want the best for your health. So we have a few simple tricks up our sleeves to help you eat to your heart’s content this festive season—and it's all about preparing your body for it.
Simple Tricks to Keep Your Health in Check This Holiday Season
Add "Clean" Foods to Your Holiday Table
A turkey, roasted potatoes, pigs in blankets, and some stuffing look so heavenly and delightful, but it wouldn't hurt to add some clean foods to your table.
Whole-foods nutrition includes fruits and vegetables, and they are good sources of fiber for your holiday diet. These dietary fibers can help you with better digestion. Pears, pomegranate, avocados, carrots, leeks, bananas, and brussel sprouts are in season this December. They also have many nutritional benefits, including vitamins and minerals such as folate, vitamin C, and potassium. In addition, fruits and vegetables are known to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and generally help you achieve a healthy and balanced diet. So use them to your advantage and make special meals using these fresh ingredients.
You can also look for lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish. They are a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and a lot more. In addition, lean red meats are trimmed from visible fat and are highly recommended for low-fat diets. In other words, having lean meat meals in your holiday diet can significantly lessen your fat consumption apart from getting rich protein and healthy fatty acids. To cut down on that calorie count, you can also get creative and bring out the chef in you by trying out some ingenious recipes using lean meats as an alternative to your traditional Christmas recipes!
Add Antioxidants to Your Diet
Plant-based foods are the best natural sources for various nutrients along with antioxidants, and that’s why they are often referred to as superfoods.
Good sources of antioxidants include vitamin A & C, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins (polyphenols), and zinc that can be found in a wide range of food selections, such as fruits and vegetables (bright and colorful), dairy produce, nuts, seeds, wheat, and whole grains. You can also choose to take some clean health supplements to increase the antioxidant levels in your body.
Add these fruits and veggies to your holiday table for an antioxidant boost:
- Red grapes
- Green and black tea
Some spices also have antioxidant properties. You can add these to your recipes to spice up your meals as well as enhance the antioxidant quotient:
All of these antioxidants will help you flush out all the bad stuff (like high amounts of fats, sugar, and cholesterol) from your body and help you with a better bowel movement. Can't let a bloated stomach ruin the holidays, right? And what makes them even more awesome is that they are loaded with safe nutrition for kids.
Choose Your Drink Wisely
There will definitely be a ton of drinks at your family parties and reunions this holiday season, and adding a few healthier drinks to your diet wouldn't spoil all the fun. Indulge in fitting diet-friendly beverages like red wine, vodka soda, mojito, whiskey on the rocks, rum, and gin. If you prefer beer, make it a bottle of light beer instead.
These are the calorie content for the following drinks:
- Red wine (5 oz): 125 calories
- Vodka: (1.5 oz): 97 calories
- Mojito (6 oz): 143 calories
- Whiskey (1.5 oz): 97 calories
- Rum (1.5 oz): 97 calories
- Gin (1.5 oz): 97 calories
- Light beer (12 oz) : 43 calories
A lot of alcoholic drinks have high-calorie content. But choosing your drinks this holiday season doesn’t need to be a choice between poisons.
It's also essential to prepare your body for an evening of drinking during the day. Make sure you drink gallons of water and hydrate yourself all day because alcohol will dehydrate you. And we wouldn't want to ruin the fun by getting a terrible hangover the morning after new year’s eve.
Observe Portion Control
It's very tempting to eat anything and everything from the dinner table. We want to savor every meal because the holidays come only once a year. It's even harder to control what and how much we eat because the food tastes so much better when we're around good people with great stories.
But it's vital to observe portion control to keep our health in check, especially during the holidays when there's, what it seems, an almost infinite number of dishes laid out on the table.
The first thing you can do to control how much you eat is to use your plate as a portion guide. You can definitely put anything on your plate but in smaller amounts. This will generally lessen your food consumption and prevent any food from being wasted. If you're on a strict diet, use a smaller plate to train your body to eat less food.
You should also try to chew your food slowly because this will help you with your digestion. The body doesn't instantly recognize that your stomach is already full. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the signals. So taking your time between eating one spoon of food from another will let you know once you're starting to feel full. You can also talk to your family and friends when you're not chewing anything. After all, good companionship is, in itself, good and fulfilling food.
You can also try eating a few but consistent meals throughout the day before your holiday feast. It's harder to digest food at night, so this will make you less hungry and can help you avoid eating a mountain of delicacies during your holiday feast.
Lastly, waiting before getting seconds is an effective portion control strategy. This way, you can savor your food more, and your stomach can digest it more properly.
Don't Skip Your Exercise
Intensify your exercise this holiday season as you will, undeniably, eat a lot of food. However, if you want to avoid substantial weight gain and maintain a healthy shape, burning out those extra calories before and after your holiday dinner will keep your preferable weight as it is.
We also recommend a regular exercise routine if you want to improve your body's metabolism and help you burn weight even without a heavy workout.
Sleep & Rest Well
Good sleep has many favorable effects on your health. It can uplift your mood, improve your exercise performance, prevent weight gain, and boost your immune system. Getting some good rest before your parties will surely help you enjoy the celebration more and give your holiday spirit a boost!
Boosting Your Immunity
There are a ton of vitamins that can boost your immunity. Some of these include Vitamins C, E, A, D, folate/folic acid, iron, and zinc. You can get them from a variety of foods such as spinach, almonds, carrots, salmon, beans, staples, red meat, and oysters. But consuming all of them in one sitting can be counterproductive to your health.
So why not make health supplements a part of your diet? Check out some of the immunity supplements available with NATURELOVA and prepare your body for the holiday season.
A good diet is a foundation for excellent health. So gift your family, friends, or even yourself this holiday season some natural vegan health supplements that are packed with vitamins and minerals for better health!