Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

healthy holidays nutrition illuminated healthPub lunches and Christmas Events are just some of the highlights of this month. December is one of the most social months of the year and it just seems to be jam packed with events, which mostly involve food. Whether you decide to spend an afternoon ice skating or at a pub with your family having pre-ordered off the festive menu, food is in the picture. Hence January is one of my busiest months in the year when everyone wants to lose the holiday weight or do a detox to reset their digestive systems.

Regardless of what you have planned for this month, here are some tips on ways to stay healthy and also have fun at all the events. Remember, just because its the holidays doesn’t have to mean that you throw your discipline or good health out of the window. Finding the right balance is important. 

First of all, when you are eating out, pre-order your meal when you can. Or if you have to make a decision on the spot, choose the dish that is the most fresh, least processed, and has the most amount of vegetables. Avoid any dish that comes with anything deep-fried or contains a lot of starch such as potatoes.

Second, share your dessert. Sure, its a good time of the year to indulge because the desserts taste very good, so let’s be realistic about this one. Ideally, you should avoid the dessert, but chances are you won’t. Even I enjoy my christmas desserts. Therefore, have a few bites, but don’t finish it. The best way to do this is to share your dessert. And if anything is leftover, then ask the waiter to box it up so that you can take it home.

Third, lay low on the alcohol and the soft drinks. The calories and the sugar add up faster than you may think. Before you know it, you’ve helped finish a bottle of wine and have started drinking cocktails. Alcohol does impair your senses, but it also impairs your ability to accurately assess how many drinks you have actually had. Besides, if you are watching your blood sugar levels, then thats another reason to avoid alcohol as it will raise your blood sugar levels. Sodas, as we are all aware of, have too much sugar, calories, and unhealthy additives. Instead, choose water, sparkling water, or fresh fruit juices.

Fourth, do something different. Rather than involving food, try a new activity and make it an active gathering. Ride cycles through park or walk from one attraction to the next. In order to have a good time, food does not necessarily have to be the focal point. Going hiking (if the weather permits) or go bowling if its snowing are just a couple other ideas of fun activities that don’t have to involve food. Why not change things up?

Lastly and most importantly, prepare in advance. Being prepared makes all the difference in the world. If you are planning a night out and not sure what kind of food is going to be served, have a snack or even a meal before you go, so you are less likely to feel peckish or make unhealthy choices. Studies show that we make the unhealthiest choices when we are starving, so avoid feeling too hungry. Its also best to prepare your lunches and dinners in advance, so you don’t have to worry about meal preps on the day, especially if you are expecting to have long days. 

Follow these tips and you are sure to have a healthier holiday season. There is no reason why you should put on weight or feel the need to detox in January if you take care of yourself over the next few weeks and even all year round. But of course, have fun and indulge a little, but be mindful of your choices. Please do let me know if you have any questions or need some personalised help with establishing the heathy diet and lifestyle that makes you feel your best!

Health and Happiness,

Varsha