The holiday season seems to be packed with family gatherings and parties where delicious food is served by the tray full.
This can be a hard time to manage when you’re trying to honor your health goals (and finish strong these last few weeks of 2018). Especially if you are prone to mindlessly snacking while enjoying time with your family (like I am).
How to stay healthy during the holidays
Despite the appearance of it being difficult, staying healthy during the holidays doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be quite easy! All you have to do is define what being “healthy” is for you and then plan around it.
You see, “healthy” is a subjective term. This means it doesn’t have a definite definition. What might be healthy for you, might not be healthy for me.
Defining a healthy lifestyle
Because what is considered healthy is subjective, this all depends on you. Forget what society says, forget what your mother or your aunt says, and instead listen to your body and mind (and your doctor/dietitian).
Really take note of what you and your body needs. Does a healthy lifestyle involve:
Getting 8 hours of sleep
Eating a balanced diet
Having time for friends and family
Working out (preferably via activities that you enjoy)
Flexibility and happiness
Take inventory of what your body needs in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Really be honest with yourself. After you’ve identified what factors into your healthy lifestyle, prioritze each aspect and then let that be your guide.
Applying this to the holidays
So you’re trying to stay healthy during the holidays, right?
Here it’s important to make sure your healthy lifestyle brings you joy and is also manageable. All to often people get caught up in trying to achieve the perfect diet, exercise regimen, and weight. These ambitious and unrealistic goals cause people to burn out.
So if your idea of a healthy lifestyle involves 8 hours of sleep, set a plan up for yourself that allows you to get those hours of rest. Perhaps that means you don’t schedule anything past 8pm on weeknights. Or maybe that means you turn off your electronics 2 hours before you go to sleep.
If your idea of a healthy lifestyle involves honoring your hunger and fullness, incorporate strategies to promote related habits. You could do this by practicing mindfulness while eating or stop eating when you 80% full.
The point is, what ever aspects are involved in your idea of a healthy lifestyle, make sure you are setting plans and developing habits that support those factors.
My top tip for staying healthy during the holidays?
Let yourself enjoy the experience. Enjoy the food and company. Let yourself indulge and don’t feel guilty.
The holidays are about sharing love and joy with family and friends. Don’t let your perfect idea of health get in the way of what really matters, your happiness.
Remember, all foods fit; it’s about moderation, not deprivation.
Lastly, if you’re thinking about treats and food all day, you’re not eating enough. Don’t over-restrict and don’t forget to honor your body.
Comment below how you plan on staying healthy this holiday season!