Holidays are usually a time for celebration, which for most people means parties, dinners, and trips! What do all those things have in common? Food! People tend to give themselves a “break” from their diet and wellness routines around this time of year, and although it is completely understandable, we must make sure to take the proper steps in order to preserve our digestive health and overall wellness.
Some things to keep in mind when it comes to your gut health during the holidays:
- To your digestive system, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukkah, etc are just like any other day!
- Eating foods you are sensitive to one time is not the end of the world, but the holidays can become a gateway for unhealthy eating.
- There are healthy versions of most holiday dishes!
- Don’t stop taking your supplements just because your routine has changed for a few days or a couple weeks.
- Try to get in your daily exercise in between all the fun!
- If you know you will be eating or drinking something you shouldn’t, take preventative measures!
Prevention + Protection = Happy Holiday Eating!
- Take all your supplements daily, even throughout all the holidays.
- Don’t forget to fit in some exercise during the holidays.
- Take probiotics and digestive enzymes to prepare for all the holiday food and alcohol coming your way.
- Opt for healthier dessert options such a fruits and “no-sugar added” alternatives.
- Moderation is key!
According to the Harvard Health Blog, “you don’t need to deprive yourself, eat only boring foods, or take your treats with a side order of guilt. Instead, by practicing a bit of defensive eating and cooking, you can come through the holidays without making “go on a diet” one of your New Year’s resolutions.”
They offer 12 tips to get you through the food and drinks marathon that is the holiday season!
- Be picky with the foods you eat and spend the big calories on the foods you love, instead of eating everything in your path.
2. Wait before taking seconds as it takes around 10 minutes for your stomach to send the the “I’m full” signal to your brain.
3. If you are at a party, don’t stand right next to the food table. Mindless eating is dangerous. A good tip is to pop a mint or a stick of gum so you won’t keep reaching for the chips.
4. Eat before the party! Preparation is key and that way you will not be tempted to eat whatever is available just because you are hungry.
5. Watch the empty calories of alcohol. According to the Harvard Health article, “a glass of eggnog can set you back 500 calories; wine, beer, and mixed drinks range from 150 to 225 calories. If you drink alcohol, have a glass of water or juice-flavored seltzer in between drinks.”
6. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach because it can increase your appetite while at the same time diminishing your ability to control what you eat.
7. Burn off some calories by dancing at the party!
8. Don’t forget about the fruits and veggies! They are good options for sides, rather than the high-fat, high sugar foods around the holiday table.
9. Check out all of your options before piling on your plate!
10. Don’t shop hungry as you prepare to cook for the holidays! Temptation is the enemy!
11. Be creative with recipes and try healthier, alternative recipes and ingredients. You (and your family and friends!) might just be surprised how good they taste.
12. Last but not least, remember that the purpose of the holidays is to get together with family and friends! Gathering around the dinner table is about celebration and food is just the perk.