Healthy Christmas: Top five tips
The Christmas and winter holiday season can be one of the most enjoyable times of the year. For many people the month of December is spent visiting family, friends, and attending various celebrations. Great meals, beverages, and treats are plentiful while sleep, rest, and relaxation is often lacking. This can make the holiday season a very challenging time of year on the body. In this article we will focus on the top five tips to make your holiday season as healthy as possible.
In order to live a balanced and happy life it is important to practice moderation. Practicing moderation helps promote a reliable body. A reliable body is one that can handle some extra food, drinks, and treats from time to time because it has been provided good nutrition, exercise, and rest 80-90% of the time. With a reliable body it is okay to allow yourself to push the boundaries 10-20% of the time. Be sure to pick and choose the right times to enjoy a large meal or a few drinks or some extra treats. Don’t let the indulgences take over the reliable body you are building.
2. Eating Preventatively
Eating preventatively involves consuming snacks or small meals every 3-4 hours. This helps prevent blood sugar crashes, which often leads to headaches, fatigue, and malaise. Eating preventatively can be a very successful strategy to prevent overeating at one sitting. Don’t starve yourself all day so you can pig out at dinner. Enjoy the holiday dinners but make sure you are eating nutritious food through the day as well to keep you healthy.
This is the season to enjoy many tasty beverages but don’t forget to hydrate your body with clean water and non-caffeinated teas. Most people need somewhere between 1.5 and 3 litres of water each day to stay optimally hydrated. However, each cup of coffee or serving of alcohol dehydrates the body. Therefore, it is recommended to drink an additional glass of water for each coffee or alcoholic beverage you consume.
When we fail to plan we often plan to fail. Take some time to plan your activities during the holidays. Try to spread your activities relatively evenly to prevent rushing around, excess stress, and burnout. Planning is a key part of preventing problems that come as a result of a lack of preparedness.
5. Know Your Limits
Setting realistic boundaries with your time, energy, and commitments can be very important for staying healthy during this time of year. Setting boundaries with your food, treats, and alcohol can also be very important. Burning the candle at both ends is one of the most common reasons people catch colds and other infections during this time of year. Set boundaries to keep you healthy.
As a naturopathic physician one of my most important jobs is to educate my patients about health so they can become empowered and make healthy choices. Many patients come to the office wanting to make healthier choices but don’t know exactly what those choices should be or how to effectively follow through with them. This is where a naturopathic doctor can really help make your life much easier and more effective. If you want to improve your health but are not sure exactly how to achieve this, I highly recommend you contact an ND and begin putting a plan together that makes sense for you.
In next week’s article we will look at the top five tips for making your New Years Resolutions as successful as possible.
If you have any questions for Dr. Barlow or would like to book a consultation please contact him at his office at 250-448-5610.
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