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The holidays can really disrupt your diet plan and drain your energy with work parties and weekend gatherings. Here are a few ways to stay healthy so you can enjoy every aspect of your holiday!

1. Don’t be fooled by ‘healthy” foods.
Some foods disguise themselves as healthy foods, but in reality, they’re just as bad as junk foods. These foods are often described or labeled with “healthy” keywords or names. Some examples include packaged veggie chips, organic candy, and calorie-free cooking spray. Watch out for ingredients that sound healthier than they actually are. Agave nectar, for example, is often described to have a low-glycemic index, but contains only carbohydrates and four calories for every gram. Aim for foods that are the least processed, like veggie platters  with homemade hummus, salsa or guacamole and fruit and cheese platters.

2. Quality of calorie matters!
Not all calories are equal. The type of calories you consume does matter. Don’t just focus on low-calorie items, like diet sodas and sugar-free desserts. Consuming high-quality nutrients, like healthy fats, lean proteins, and high fiber carbohydrates, like vegetables, can keep you satisfied and make you less likely to munch on foods with out a lot of nutritional value. Fill half of your plate with vegetables, add lean protein like turkey or chicken and include a source of healthy fats, like a homemade olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette or a yogurt dip for your veggie platters!

3. Eat what you love, not what you like. 
You don’t just date someone you have lukewarm feelings for, so why would you eat something that you feel indifferent about? Choose foods that you love and are worth your calories. I always like to use the three-bite dessert rule. The first three bites of your favorite foods often taste the best. After that, each bite won’t taste as good as the first. The three-bite rule also encourages us to savor our food, rather than eating mindlessly.

4. Get your sleep.
Good sleep can prevent mindless snacking and eating throughout the day. When we don’t get a restful night’s sleep, our appetites increase because our hormones, ghrelin and leptin, stimulate our appetites. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule and aim for seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

5. Keep a regular schedule.
Holidays often mean sleeping in, sleeping late, skipping breakfast or having too many sugary foods. While food is an integral part of the holiday season, remember, you don’t need to revolve your schedule around it. Even when you don’t have to go to work, aim to wake up, sleep and eat around the same times as you would if you were working. Also, avoid over-indulging daily and remember to keep a healthy overall diet!

6. Maintain a healthy immune system and gut health.
A healthy diet can support your immune system! Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help strengthen the immune system. In addition to fruit and vegetables, add gut-friendly foods like pickled vegetables, kombucha, probiotics and high fiber foods or prebiotics.  Don’t let a pesky cold, upset stomach or fatigue ruin your holiday celebrations.

One of the best ways to make the most of this festive holiday season is to stay healthy! By getting plenty of good quality rest, and eating a nutritious and balanced diet, you can maintain your health while enjoying the holidays!

 

Source: Nutriliving blog

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