A Step-by-Step Guide to Balancing Your Health Goals During the Festive Season

The end of the year is here, and the festivities are back in full swing. So, whether you’re zooming into parties or finally reconnecting with friends and family face-to-face, you’re more than likely to be surrounded by way more food and alcohol this time of year. This can make it  easy to lose focus of your plans to keep a healthy body and mind. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the festivities guilt-free!

Step 1: Balance it out. Add a dash of festive flavour to your plate—turkey is a great source of protein, but don’t forget to add a healthy portion of vegetables to your plate! Jazz up your yoghurt with sugar-free dried cranberries for some seasonal sweetness. Find your inspiration for a well-balanced plate for every festive situation by checking out Fitbit’s handy guide.

Step 2: Plan ahead. If you’re attending an evening dinner party, plan your breakfast and lunch to ensure you arrive satisfied not starving. You’re much more likely to overeat if you arrive  feeling hungry. Fill up with fibre-rich foods, such as oats, yogurt, and fruit for breakfast, and include a protein-packed lunch like this Spicy Jerk Shrimp Coconut Rice. That way you’ll be able to enjoy the evening dinner for its quality and not go overboard on quantity.

Step 3: If you drink, only drink a little. Most festivities tend to feature alcohol, but not only is alcohol high in calories, but it can make you eat more and store more calories. Not to mention mess with your sleep quality. So if you’re keeping an eye on your calories, you may want to rethink your drinks, particularly since alcohol offers very little nutritional value. Sure, it can be challenging to avoid alcohol at social gatherings, so give yourself some leeway and enjoy that toast to a better year ahead (who isn’t going to be raising a glass to that this year?!). Try a mocktail, which can feel just as jovial. And keep a glass of plain water nearby to stay well-hydrated. Most importantly, if your activities with friends revolve around drinking, perhaps it’s time to suggest a few healthier ways to connect like going for a walk, volunteering, or playing a boardgame!

Step 4: Healthy body, healthy mind. For most people, this has been an unusual year. So, it’s important to find enough time for your own wellbeing. Prioritizing self-care can help you to stay sane in the flurry of activities. Contrary to what social media would have you believe, self-care doesn’t have to be overly indulgent. Healthy habits like getting enough sleep, keeping active, eating well, and finding a few moments alone to breathe or meditate all count. These simple habits don’t cost an arm and a leg, and go a long way to managing the chaos of the season—they can also help you build energy and focus for the New Year!

Author: Ming Chia is an ACE-Certified Health Coach and a NCSF-Certified Personal Trainer. Ming is always on the lookout for the next adrenaline rush, from martial arts to road-cycling. He recently added yoga to balance things out for a change. Ming’s motto to live by: “Try everything and keep moving”.

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