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7 Ways To Maintain Healthy Habits During The Holidays

The holiday season is full of family, friends, fun foods, and lots of memory making opportunities.

And it's no secret that the holidays and healthy habits don't exactly go hand-in-hand. When the holiday season rolls around, it can be easy to let your regular food and fitness habits take a back seat.

All those festive parties and the increased stress many of us feel around the holidays can mean your health and wellness takes a hit from November to New Year’s. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

With a few simple tips, it’s possible to maintain healthy habits year-round!

Tips to staying fit during the holiday season

It’s okay to indulge

You can honor your eat better goals and enjoy some planned indulgences too. So often I hear women trying to talk themselves out of enjoying fun foods this time of year, telling themselves they must say "No" in order to stay on track with their goals and they worry about the wheels falling off at social events. But the truth is your energy is far better spent learning how to let fun foods co-exist along nutrient dense ones. Studies show when you do, you're far less likely to overdo it and walk away feeling more satisfied too! 

Rather than beating yourself up for enjoying fun foods… just learn how to plan for them. By planning ahead you're less likely to overindulge and enjoy reasonable portions of a few of your favorite things. 

When you get up in the morning, take a few minutes to write down what you'll eat that day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Include festive events and gatherings. You may not always know what is going to be served, but you can plan to enjoy reasonable portions, eat when you're hungry and stop when you're beginning to recognize feelings of fullness. 

Make healthier versions of holiday treats

A super simple way to enjoy more of your holiday favorites without the fear of sabotaging your goals is to whip up some healthier versions.

Here are a few fun favs:

  • Make healthier brownies by swapping white sugar and high fat with bananas, nut butter, cocoa powder and honey or maple syrup.

  • Swap white flour for whole wheat in your cookies, muffins and breads.

  • Create a healthy snack platters with fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, low fat cheeses and fun festive dips.

  • Use seasonal spices to add sweet and/or spicy flavor without adding a ton of calories.

  • Looking for a healthier cocktails? Check out these tasty festive sips!

There are all kinds of simple ways you can make level ups to festive treats, without compromising on flavor. And when you share them at holiday events, you’ll probably find that your friends and family love them too (plus they won’t even notice what's missing!)

For more simple healthy treat recipes, visit the Healthy Eating Recipes section of my blog.

Healthier holidays

Drink plenty of water

Water is so important, not just for keeping you hydrated, but to reduce food cravings and help you make better food choices. Water plays an important role in your overall health, helping to fill you up and clean you out. And it's one of the simplest ways to support your healthy lifestyle goals.

For each cocktail you enjoy, down a big glass of water. This will help slow down the consumption of those festive liquid calories and keep you from mindlessly munching. How much should you drink? In general, at least 64 ounces of water each day to feel and function your best.

Workout early in the day

If you have some busy days and evenings lined up it can be easy to let your fitness to side off your to-do list. A simple way to set yourself up for success is by getting in your workout in first thing in the morning. You'll feel great having knocked something off your list and that healthy habit momentum is more likely to build throughout the day, leading you to make more good choices!

exercise in the morning

Do what you can

When you’re super busy, you might need to adjust your expectations. Some days you may not have the time for your usual meal prep or workouts. Doing a little bit of something is always better than nothing and will help you honor your healthy habit commitments.

Too tired to make dinner? Grab a pre-made salad kit and a rotisserie chicken and BOOM, you've got a quick and simple meal. Short on time for your usual workout? A 10-minute walk around the block or stretch session can do wonders for body and mind. Look for the 1% win!

Don’t sit for too long

Long days of sitting are hard on body and mind. Did you know the simple act of standing up more regularly can help you...

  • Reduce the risk of weight gain

  • Lower risk of heart disease

  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases

  • Reduce chronic pain

  • Increase energy and improves mood

  • Boost productivity

  • Improve muscle tone

And chances are, you probably spend a lot of time sitting over the holidays. From cocktails with friends to watching holiday movies, there’s the potential for lazying around during the holiday season, making you susceptible to put on a few extra pounds. Try to get up and move your body for at least 5 minutes out of every hour. This will help counteract some of the consequences of sitting too much.

Get active as much as you can

Get active when you can

Look for different opportunities to get your body moving during the holidays while still enjoying yourself. From winter walks to snow sports and dance offs… anything goes! Weather not ideal? Talk a walk around the mall, park further from the grocery store entrance, use the stairs rather than the elevator. There are all sorts of creative ways to add a few more steps to your day.

Are you tired of starting over every Monday, hopping from diet to diet, wondering if you'll ever get it "right" so that you can lose the weight and become the best version of you? I’ve got you friend! Come join me inside my FREE women’s-only Facebook community: Eat Better with Coach Mindy. It's for busy women like you who are ready to lose weight, gain energy, get healthy and fit -- without restrictive diets or punishing food rules.

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