Ah, we all love Chistmas. Delicious dinners, lots of parties, fun and togetherness with family and friends. But the question we always get is… How do you maintain your healthy powerfood lifestyle in this busy, temptation-filled period?
First of all, it’s important to remain aware of what you’re eating. It’s okay to be a little less strict than usual; it is a time to celebrate, after all! But if you remain aware of the food choices you make, you don’t need to let go of your healthy lifestyle all together. It’s still important to feel fit and happy during the holidays and afterward. So why not try to maintain an 80/20 balance during the holidays: 80% of what you eat and drink should be in accordance with your healthy lifestyle and the other 20% can be made up of all the things you normally wouldn’t indulge in. Most importantly though, never feel guilty! Make sure you really enjoy it when you make a less than healthy, but oh so tasty choice.
These seven tips will keep you feeling fit and healthy during the holidays:
1. Power breakfast
Start the day (especially this month) with a nutritious breakfast. Make yourself a green juice or a smoothie for example. That way you’ll make sure you’ve squeezed in a healthy boost and that feels gooood!
2. Snack attack
On your day off, before the party starts, make yourself some easy snacks, like chocoballs or banana bread that you can grab a slice of when you’re in a hurry or hungry between meals and you’d rather not reach for chocolate or sweets.
On the Japanese island of Okinawa, before every meal, people whisper ‘hara hachi bu’, which, loosely translated, means ‘eat until you are 80% full’. The residents of this Japanese island are renowned for this approach to eating and there’s a reason for that. The likelihood of overeating is, of course, increased during the holiday season with all the delicious bites and Christmas dishes right in front of you. Continuing to eat when you’re already full will train your stomach to expect and need more food in order to feel full. Eating until you’re 80% full is the happy medium: you’ll eat enough, but you won’t stuff yourself.
How do I do it?
Eat slowly and don’t take huge bites. Try to be mindful and enjoy every bite! You can also avoid overeating by having a healthy snack beforehand, like unsalted, raw nuts, a healthy bar or an apple. That way you can avoid sitting down to dinner when you’re starving and needing to still your hunger with unhealthy hors d’oeuvres.
4. Work that ass
For many of us, working out during the holidays becomes less of a priority. We’re busy, we’re tired and don’t feel like going to the gym after all the dinners and parties. Our tip: keep on moving! If you don’t feel like going to the gym these days then choose a form of exercise that makes you happy! Take a long walk outside in the fresh air with a friend that you haven’t seen in a while, grab a skipping rope and go nuts or go for a bike ride and make an outing of it. Exercise is not only important to keep you feeling fit, it also leads your body to produce endorphins, which make you feel happy when you’re done and help to combat stress.
5. Sweet dreams
When you sleep, your body recharges and repairs itself. It’s so important to allow yourself some time to rest and to recharge at night, especially during this busy season. What’s more, being well rested helps diminish cravings for unhealthy food. When you’re tired, your body produces more of the hormone ghrelin and less of the hormone leptin. This hormonal imbalance leads to increased feelings of hunger and more difficulty achieving satiety after a meal. Your body will simply keep looking for an energy boost. Furthermore, the body’s need for sugar increases as a result of sleep deprivation.
6. Keep calm and drink!
And no, I don’t mean an extra glass of champagne! ; ) Drinking enough water (1.5-2 liters per day) is always important, but it’s even more essential during the holidays. If you are dehydrated, your body can express this need for fluids by generating a feeling of hungry. Before you sit down to a Christmas brunch or dinner, be sure to drink a big glass of water so that you know that any hunger you’re feeling is truly hunger and not thirst disguised as hunger. And lastly, increased alcohol consumption during the holidays is also an important reason to keep a close eye on your fluid intake.
In addition to drinking enough water, it’s also a great idea to moisturize your skin using coconut oil. Coconut is a source of saturated and unsaturated fats that are easily absorbed by the body. Coconut oil hydrates and restores the fluid balance of your skin and makes your skin (and hair) incredibly soft. Coconut oil also gives your skin a boost of vitamin E. In our opinion, it’s the most effective, nourishing and pure body lotion that exists!
7. Relax a little
It’s the end of the year. You’ve worked hard, especially in these last few weeks to get everything rounded off before the holidays. And now a race against the clock begins to do the Christmas shopping, plan and prepare dinners and find the perfect outfits. At busy times like this, it’s important to schedule in some rest for yourself. Treat yourself to a massage, plan to spend an evening in the bath or on the couch with a good book or take in an extra yoga class. Whatever you choose, these moments of rest will help you to enjoy the Christmas holidays and parties more. And then you’ll be ready to start the New Year off with a bang!
Happy Holidays to you all! Enjoy it all to the fullest!
Love, TEAM RK