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12 (Healthy) Days of Christmas- And What You Can Do To Get Them All

12 (Healthy) Days of Christmas- And What You Can Do To Get Them All


Introduction



As the holidays approach, we are inundated with rich food, sugary drinks, and more opportunities to indulge than we can count. It can be hard to stay on track with our health goals during this time of year! But what if we could have our cake and eat it too? What if we could enjoy all the holiday festivities without packing on the pounds? In this blog post, we will explore 12 healthy tips that you can use to enjoy the holiday season without sabotaging your health goals. From simple swaps like opting for sparkling water instead of eggnog to more involved tips like planning ahead for meals, there is something here for everyone. So whether you’re looking to make it through the holidays without gaining weight or you’re trying to eat healthier in general, read on for some tips and tricks to help you out.


One Drink Per Day


One glass only, right? Right?


It's that time of year again! Christmas is just around the corner and you know what that means- lots of parties and get-togethers. And, of course, alcohol will be flowing at many of these events. If you're trying to stick to moderate drinking habits, it can be tricky to navigate all the different options and stay within your limit. After all, it's easy to lose track of how much you've had when there are so many tempting beverages around.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking is defined as up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. That means if you have just one serving of alcohol every day from December 1st to December 25th, you could be consuming upwards of 250 extra calories!

One way to help make sure you don't overdo it on the alcohol this holiday season is to have only one bottle on hand. That way, you can control how much you're drinking and pour yourself a single serving each time. This will help you keep better track of how much alcohol you're consuming overall. Plus, it'll save you money since you won't be buying multiple bottles or drinks at the bar. So if you're looking to stick to moderate drinking this holiday season, having one bottle on hand is a good strategy.



Two Servings of Dairy


Cheese, you say?


When it comes to nutrient-dense foods, milk and dairy products definitely top the list. That’s why health authorities, such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), recommend consuming dairy products on a daily basis. In fact, most health organizations advise consuming 2–3 servings of dairy per day in order to get enough calcium for your bones.


Not only are milk and dairy products packed with nutrients, but they also make great additions to Christmas dishes. From creamy mashed potatoes to rich gravy, there are plenty of ways to incorporate dairy into your holiday feast. And let’s not forget about all those delicious Christmas cookies that wouldn’t be the same without butter or milk!

Three Servings of Greens


Christmas should be about Peas and Love. Get it, peas?


Vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, so they're definitely not to be avoided. Many vegetables are low in sugar, sodium and fat. They can also be very hydrating depending on the type, with some varieties being about 94% water. Vegetables also contain a number of antioxidants and other healthy plant compounds that help fight free radicals. Diets rich in antioxidants are often linked to slowing the aging process, lower risks of disease, and a general feeling of health and well-being.


Due to their health benefits, it is recommended that you get at least three servings of vegetables in your diet daily. And yes, this policy applies to the holidays, as well. Just because the mood is festive and bright doesn’t mean you should forget about your fruits and vegetables. Check out some of the best vegetable recipes to try and keep your holidays healthy.


Four Food Safety Steps


Eek. Eugh.


One of the best ways to enjoy the holiday season is by preparing and sharing delicious meals with family and friends. But before you start cooking, it's important to keep food safety in mind.


Here are four steps to help keep your Christmas feast safe:


Clean: Wash your hands and surfaces often. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria and other contaminants.


Separate: Don't cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other food items. This will help prevent bacteria from spreading


Cook to the right temperature. Make sure all meat, poultry, and seafood is cooked to the proper temperature. This will kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.


Chill: Refrigerate promptly. Once food has been cooked, put it in the fridge as soon as possible. This will help ensure that it stays fresh and safe to eat.


No matter how excited you are for the Christmas parties or how delicious the dishes will be, it’ll all go to waste if it ends in disaster via disease because of poor preparation. Don’t be a party pooper (no toilet humor intended just so we’re clear), practice these four safety food preparation steps for a safe, healthy, and happy holiday party.


Five Minutes to Breathe


Don't forget to breathe.


We all know the drill this time of year. The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. But they're also a time when our schedules are packed with parties, shopping, and other activities. It can be tough to find time to take care of ourselves during the holiday season.

But what if we told you that you could improve your health this holiday season by taking just five minutes out of each day to focus on your breath?

Breathing is one of the most important functions of our body, yet it's something that we often take for granted. When we're stressed, our breathing becomes shallow and restricted. This can lead to a host of health problems, including anxiety, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.

Deep breathing is one of the best ways to reduce stress and improve your overall health. Just five minutes of deep breathing each day can make a world of difference.

Here's how to do it:

  • Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down.

  • Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.

  • Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your belly to expand as you fill your lungs with air.

  • Breathe out slowly through your mouth, letting your belly fall as you empty your lungs of air.

  • Repeat this process for at least five minutes.

Six Nutrients to Get In


Carbs ain't evil yo!


Water:

Water is the most important nutrient for our bodies, and we should be getting in at least eight glasses a day. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep our bodies hydrated and flush out toxins. You may not be able to survive long without food, but you only last a few days without water. Water is crucial for every system in your body, and it's made up of about 62% of your body weight on average.

Water improves brain function and mood, acts as a shock absorber in the body, moves toxins out of the body, carries nutrients to cells, keeps you hydrated and helps with constipation.


Vitamins:

Vitamins are essentials for staying healthy and warding off disease. A healthy body needs micronutrients to support bodily functions. There are 13 essential vitamins the body needs in order to work properly, including vitamins A, C, B6, and D.


Vitamins are critical for a healthy body, and those that are not getting enough can have health problems or develop diseases. Many Americans do not get the recommended amount of certain vitamins, which can lead to problems with their vision and bones.


There are many benefits that come with taking vitamins. Not only do they lower the risk of lung and prostate cancer, but they're also powerful antioxidants. Vitamins like vitamin C can help boost the immune system and allow your body to heal.


Minerals:

Just like vitamins, minerals are essential to many functions of the body. They're used in maintaining strong bones and teeth, regulating metabolism, and staying hydrated. Some of the most common minerals are calcium, iron, and zinc.


Calcium not only strengthens your bones, it also helps to transmit nerve signals and keep blood pressure at an optimal level. Iron supports red blood cells and hormone production, while zinc helps your immune system.


Protein:


Protein is a building block for your body, not just for muscle. It can be found in every one of your cells, from hair to skin to bone. On average, 16% of a person's weight comes from protein. Proteins are primarily used for growth and the maintaining of health, both physically and mentally. All of the hormones, antibodies, and other important substances in your body are made up of protein. Protein isn't used to fuel the body unless it's needed.


Proteins are made of different amino acids. There are some amino acids created by your body, but there are also some that only come from food sources. Your body needs a variety of amino acids in order to function properly.


Amino acids are essential to creating proteins, and your body is capable of producing complete proteins from the foods you eat throughout your day.


Carbohydrates:


It can be easy to say "no carbs" and avoid all the carbs in your diet. But don't forget that carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy body. They fuel the central nervous system and brain, they protect against disease, and they provide energy. So no matter what the no-carb or low-carb diets tell you, keep in mind that carbohydrates are essential nutrients that must still be part of our daily intake.


According to trusted sources like the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, from 45-65% of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates.


Fat:


We've done a lot to improve the way we perceive fats. Recent research has revealed that healthy fats are an important part of a healthy diet. Fat plays an important role in many body functions, including vitamin and mineral absorption, blood clotting, building cells, and muscle movement.


When we talk about weight loss, people often think that eating fat is bad. However, your body needs energy in the form of calories, and fats are the perfect energy source for some people. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that 20 to 35% of your daily calories come from fat, but the World Health Organization suggests limiting fat intake.


Seven Days a Week (365 days a year!)


Yep, you counted that right.


Assuming you mean what can you do to have a healthy day every day for 365 days, here are some tips:

  • Start your day with a nutritious breakfast to jump start your metabolism and give you energy for the day ahead.

  • Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This could be going for a jog, taking a yoga class, or even just going for a brisk walk around your neighborhood.

  • Try to eat healthy throughout the day, incorporating lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet. But don’t forget to treat yourself every once in awhile too!

  • Make sure to get enough sleep each night. Most people need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

  • Take breaks when you need them and try to de-stress as much as possible. Take some deep breaths, meditate, or read your favorite book when you need to relax.

  • Spend time with loved ones and do things that make you happy!

While this might be a holiday list, remember that every single day counts and there should be no breaks when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Give yourself and your family members the gift of good health and longevity by practicing these simple steps seven days a week, 365 days in a year!


Eight Hours of Sleep


Zzzzzzzzzzzzz....


It is no secret that getting enough sleep is important for our health. This is especially true during the holiday season when we are often more stressed and our bodies are working harder to fight off sickness. Aiming for eight hours of sleep each night can help improve our mood, increase our energy levels, help with weight loss, and reduce our risk of developing chronic health problems


There are a few simple things we can do to make sure we get enough rest during the hectic holiday season. First, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help regulate our bodies’ natural sleep rhythm. Secondly, create a relaxing bedtime routine including winding down for 30 minutes before turning out the lights. This can involve reading, taking a bath, or doing some gentle stretching exercises. Finally, make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool – all factors that contribute to deep, restful sleep.


By following these tips, you can enjoy all the benefits of a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever the holidays throw your way!


Nine Times Through


Well, we think so too, Homer (ummmm)


Nothing in life comes easy be it losing weight or perfecting that baked macaroni you’re about to serve on the Christmas dinner table. All of these take time, patience, practice, and effort. If you’ve been wondering how long you must persist in a new task, the answer is a solid nine. Yes, nine. Taking tiny steps to get moving, start a new diet, or maybe getting more consistent sleep is the start of something that will last a lifetime. Don’t wait for New Year’s Eve to start it. Make it part of your holidays right now.


Ten Thousand Steps


Bit by bit by bit by bit


Recent studies have shown that there may not be one magic number for steps per day- but taking 10,000 steps each day is a good estimate of how active a person is in their day. In fact, one study showed that people who took more steps each day weighed less than those who took fewer steps. To lose weight, getting 10,000 steps per day is a great goal. Here are some tips to help you reach it.


Christmas might not even be the time to be thinking about getting in any physical activity, but as we mentioned above, good habits start small and must not be put off so as to build them slowly. Unless you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day, such as working as a waiter or nurse, it can be difficult to get 10,000 steps in per day just from activity at home. An inactive person might walk about 3,000 steps.


If you're trying to lose weight, it's important to eliminate empty calories and focus on good nutrition. A food and exercise diary can help you see where you need to make improvements. With some online programs or phone apps, you can track all your data in one place - fitness, nutrition, sleep, water intake - and more!


Eleven Eating Hacks


No, Kirby! Not that eating hack!


The holiday season is upon us and that means we all have to watch what we eat a little bit more carefully. With all of the tempting holiday foods around, it can be hard to stick to our healthy eating habits. But don't despair! There are plenty of healthy holiday foods that you can enjoy without ruining your diet.

Here are some tips for staying on track during the holidays:

  1. Fill up on healthy appetizers before the main meal. This way you won't be as tempted to overeat when the main course comes out.

  2. Choose leaner cuts of meat and skinless poultry to limit your fat intake.

  3. Watch your portion sizes. It's easy to overeat when we're served large portions, so be mindful of how much you're eating.

  4. Make sure your holiday meals include plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods are packed with nutrients and will help fill you up without adding extra calories which is super beneficial for weight loss.

  5. Avoid sugary drinks like eggnog and mulled wine. Stick to sparkling water or unsweetened tea instead.

  6. And finally, don't forget to exercise! A moderate amount of physical activity is essential for good health, so make sure you fit in some walks or other forms of exercise during the busy holiday season

Twelve New Healthy Foods to Try This New Year


I mean, why not?


If you're seeking to make your New Year weight loss journey a successful one, variety is one of the best things you can do. Make your food checklist as diverse as possible by adding in these:

  1. Quinoa: This superfood is packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. It's perfect for a healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

  2. Sweet potatoes: These versatile vegetables are a great source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium. They make a delicious side dish or can be used in place of white potatoes in many recipes.

  3. Kale: This leafy green is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It's a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and iron. Add it to salads, soups, or smoothies for an extra nutritional boost.

  4. Berries: All kinds of berries are loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients that are good for your health. Enjoy them fresh, frozen, or dried in snacks or desserts throughout the year.

  5. Nuts and seeds: These power-packed foods are full of healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They make a great addition to meals or can be enjoyed as a snack on their own.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to trying new healthy foods! Just remember to start slowly and add a few new items to your diet each week or month. Your body will thank you for it.


Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our 12 (Healthy) Days of Christmas! We know that the holiday season can be a hectic time, so we wanted to provide some simple tips and tricks to help you stay healthy and fit. We hope that these tips will help you make it through the holidays without sacrificing your health or your sanity!


If you are looking to lose weight, gain weight or are interested in weight loss medication, seek a consultation with a weight loss specialist and a registered nutritionist dietitian who can help you reach realistic, attainable, and impressive goals. Schedule an appointment right now.

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