The holidays are a notoriously difficult time to keep up with eating healthy. Decadent meals, tempting sweets, boozy cocktails packed with added sugar make the next couple months of a roadmap for unhealthy habits.
If your goal is to stick to your healthy eating habits as you head into the holidays, here are four tips to maintain your weight — and your sanity — all season long.
1. Eat right while traveling. For many people, the holidays start with a plane journey back home. Since you can’t always sit down for a healthy meal when you’re traveling, try to plan ahead for when hunger strikes. Avoid any fried foods, heavy carbohydrates, or salty foods — especially those served on flights. Not only are these foods unhealthy for your body, they also cause bloating.
Instead, pack your carry-on with protein-rich snacks, such as hummus with vegetable crudité (sliced peppers, peas, grape tomatoes, and olives are all great options), quinoa salad with a bite-sized lean protein like grilled chicken, whole apples or pears with raw nuts or almond butter, a quality protein bar, or a dark chocolate and raw nuts trail mix.
Making healthy choices at the start of your vacation will help set the tone for the remainder of your trip.
2. Don’t skip breakfast. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you’re operating outside your daily routine is skipping breakfast. When you wake up, your blood sugar is already low and skipping breakfast could further mess with it.
A Harvard study found that women who regularly missed breakfast had a 20 percent increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The study revealed that the irregular blood sugar spikes that occur when we fast for a long time and then eat a lot because we’re hungry — or presented with a holiday feast — put a strain on our bodies, and can potentially lead to insulin resistance.
If you don’t typically eat breakfast, now’s the time to start. Think small, such as two organic hard boiled eggs and an avocado. By incorporating foods with substance to the start of your day, you’ll stabilize your blood sugar and feel more satiated as you head to holiday gatherings.
3. Stay hydrated. For starters, avoid any coffee and alcohol on any flight. Not only will alcohol stress your body, it’ll cause dehydration. Instead, drink plenty of water. Pack an empty, refillable water bottle in your carry-on, and fill it at a water fountain before boarding.
Once the holiday partying begins, remember to keep drinking the recommended daily amount of water right for you. How much water is that, exactly? According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the adequate daily fluid intake for men is about 15.5 cups of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups of fluids for women.
Sipping on holiday cocktails or a few glasses of wine? You’ll likely need to drink even more water. As a rule of thumb, drink a glass of water with each meal. And drink water if you're feeling hungry — thirst is often confused with hunger and you’re likely not going to feel very hungry when surrounded by the abundance of holiday foods.
Remember, a lack of water can prevent your body from carrying out its normal functions. Even mild dehydration is known to drain your energy and make you tired. The holidays are hectic enough when you feel your best. Stay hydrated so you can keep up with the fun.
4. Supplement your efforts. Feeling like you need some extra help with combatting the effects of holiday meals? Try Oligonol. An extract derived from the lychee fruit, Oligonol can help you maintain a healthy weight around the holidays — and all year-long, for that matter. In clinical studies, the natural supplement has demonstrated effects on subjects’ metabolism, helping adults reduce weight, body mass index, and both abdominal and waist circumferences.
This holiday season, give yourself the gift of healthy eating habits. With these four tips, you won’t have to worry about New Year’s resolutions. Instead, you’ll start 2019 off right: feeling healthy, happy, and ahead of the game.
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