It is not a secret that holidays don’t always go hand-in-hand with healthy lifestyles. The decadent, indulgent recipes that dominate Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, and Christmas tables might not follow the diets you often follow for the rest of the year. Thankfully, you can apply several nutritional tips during the holiday for healthy living.
Find Healthy Alternatives
To start with, you can find alternatives to your favorite dishes. This doesn’t mean that you should give up your favorite holiday meals — you only have to modify a little bit to get the most nutritional value. For instance, you can use less bacon and butter while preparing green bean casserole.
You can also use yogurt instead of mayonnaise while preparing deviled eggs and bake your turkey instead of deep-frying it. All these simple tricks and modifications will keep all your favorite meals on the table but eliminate the excessive calories. You also reduce fat intake that could be harmful to your health.
Opt for Homemade Foods
It is also helpful to opt for homemade foods instead of processed ones. As much as homemade stuff can be challenging when busy with other things, it helps ensure you are eating healthy. Processed, canned, and premade foods are full of excessive sugar and salt that you can avoid by simply using homemade foods. You can reduce your sodium intake by making your cream of mushroom soup and improving its nutrients.
It is also possible to reduce sugar intake by making cranberry sauce from scratch. Even though it might seem challenging, it only takes a moment to stir in a pot before letting it simmer. In addition, making food from scratch will make you more aware of what you are consuming and when. Doing so gives you more awareness and control in the long run. This goes a long way in improving your nutritional intake.
Proceed With Moderation
Moderation is another essential nutritional tip you should consider. You will make better nutritional decisions that help improve your health through moderation. Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with enjoying an indulgent holiday dinner. While that is the case, you will want to ensure that the meals surrounding you are nutrient-dense and healthy.
You should have a light lunch like a salad dressed with olive oil and consider a healthy breakfast the next morning. This moderation ensures that you eat nutritious foods that help improve your health. Healthy nutrition habits during the holiday are vital for your general well-being. It would help if you also came up with rules that guide you to a better nutritional intake.
Add More Vegetables To Your Diet
Furthermore, you should add more vegetables to your diet. In most cases, it is easy to follow your favorite recipes. However, it is sometimes better to keep things simple by opting for healthy choices at hand. You should increase the number of vegetable dishes on the table, finding small twists to dress them up without necessarily making them unhealthy.
Foods like roasted asparagus can be beautiful on their own, and roasted sweet potatoes or carrots are rich in taste and come with essential nutritional value. If you doubt your meal, you should serve vegetables first. This means you can serve the vegetables as a salad before having your meal.
You can also have a vegetable-based appetizer earlier in the afternoon. This helps ensure that you get the vegetables you need instead of filling up on buttery mashed potatoes. You should also get the most out of your vegetable-based appetizer and salad.
Remember Portion Control
Remembering portion control is another crucial nutritional tip. In fact, portion control will be your best friend throughout the holiday season. You should eat small snacks during the day and have three nutritious meals instead of three large meals. This is helpful because it improves your digestion.
Besides, it significantly reduces the amount of food you are eating, keeping your body in good condition. If you are not sure about portion control, you can use smaller plates that reduce the amount of food you eat. Alternatively, you can reduce the number of dishes you serve per meal.
Slow Down on Meals
Experts also advise that you should slow down during meals. Even though decadent food might make you eager to eat, a key tip to staying healthy over the holidays is slowing down when eating. Several studies have shown that eating slowly gives your stomach sufficient time to send the hormonal signal to your brain saying you are full. This prevents you from accidentally overeating. With this technique, you can maintain a better portion control that prevents cases of overeating and its effects.
Taking a walk after dinner is also very important if you want to keep your health intact. By taking a walk, there are several benefits you could get. For instance, you can get exercise at a time when you might be regularly exercising. It also gives you some quiet alone time to get over stress or other issues you might be dealing with.
All of these factors are essential for your mental and physical health and also help prevent weight gain. Therefore, taking good care of yourself and taking walks after meals could just be what you need during the holidays!
To maximize these benefits, experts advise that you should take a walk immediately after a meal instead of waiting for even an hour. This is because it helps speed up digestion and increase nutrient intake.
Avoid Fatty and Sugary Foods
Fatty and sugary foods should be a no-go zone during the holidays. These foods are rich in cholesterol that could cause significant damage to your health. Excessive consumption of such foods could see you to gain weight. Besides, cardiovascular problems like heart disease could also be caused by eating these foods. Therefore, you are encouraged to stick to a healthy diet that keeps your body in excellent condition.
Stick To Your Sleep Schedule
Sticking to your typical sleep schedule is also very important. During the holidays, there are many night parties that can affect your sleeping patterns. However, sticking to your sleep schedule will help improve your sleep quality and improve your mental health.
A number of studies have shown that irregular sleep schedules can result in poor sleep quality, poor eating habits, fatigue, and daytime sleepiness. Avoid all of these cases by going to bed on time and waking up at the intended time. By doing so, you get rid of irregular sleep habits that can affect your health.
You should also not forego exercises during the holidays. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to keep your body fit. If you are away from your home gym, you might assume that it is impossible to exercise. However, it is vital to maintain regular exercise for both your physical and mental health.
You should exercise regularly because it helps relieve the stress that could be making your operations difficult. If you don’t have a home gym, you can opt to do morning runs with your family. You can also do light exercises on your lawn to help keep your body in shape.
Alternatively, you can do some jumping jacks on the patio or go ice skating with your loved ones. This will go a long way in keeping your body in shape and improving your health!
Find Time To Relax
Lastly, you should also take time for yourself. It is obvious that the holidays are full of family and friends, and while this can be an amazing experience, it can also be stressful and draining. Whether you are staying with the family over the holidays or attending various events, remember to create time for yourself. You can go for a walk or go to a restaurant and spend some alone time. This goes a long way in keeping you fresh and in good mental health.