5 Tips to Maintain Healthy Habits During the Holidays with Athlete’s Kitchen
With the holiday season approaching, sometimes that means our health and fitness goals get tossed to the side, due to lack of time.
While, yes, there may be more chaos and less time to dedicate to your health and fitness goals, however, that doesn’t mean nothing can be done to maintain healthy daily habits. Even during the holiday season, your mental health, physical health, and overall health deserve a few moments of your attention every day to ensure your well-being is maintained.
Busy times are a great way to practice implementing all the healthy habits you have been working on over the past few months.
It is essential that whenever you are looking to achieve a certain goal, be that weight loss or an athletic goal, you ask yourself what you can sustain for the long term. Building sustainable healthy daily habits that you can implement for a year or more, is the foundation for not only achieving your results but more importantly, maintaining your results!
We can all do something hard for 14 days or even a month, however, if you truly want to maintain those results you need to start building those good habits that you can sustain and incorporate into your daily routine.
In this blog, we will dive into 5 healthy habits that you can implement that won’t seem overwhelming during this holiday season. These healthy daily habits will promote good health and mental well-being by implementing physical activity, healthy eating habits, a good night’s sleep, and staying hydrated.
Athlete’s Kitchen is here and ready to help you stay on track with your nutritional choices this holiday season.
With everything else you need to address and focus on during the holidays, Athlete’s Kitchen is here with convenient and healthy meals ready to eat, so that you have one less thing to worry about.
Athlete’s Kitchen is all about healthy foods, and we are committed to helping you stay motivated during this busy time, by providing delicious and nutritious meals that will increase your energy levels, and promote a healthy lifestyle during this holiday season.
In addition to providing you with nutritious meals ready to eat, we want to share with you some other healthy habits that will have a direct impact and make a big difference to your mental well-being and physical health if you implement these every day, even in small amounts.
Some Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind:
Below we have laid out 5 simple healthy habits that can help you stay on track during this holiday season. These habits aren’t meant to overwhelm you, rather are meant to make a big difference without increasing your stress levels. These habits will incorporate prioritizing you are getting enough sleep, moving your body every day, maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated.
Let’s start simple with planning ahead. Planning can look different depending on how much time you have and what you want to plan. Let’s break it down into different categories.
With regards to nutrition, we can plan what we will eat for the next day or for the next week, we can meal prep or we can plan ahead by ordering meals from Athlete’s Kitchen. One way to reduce stress with regard to healthy eating during the holidays is to keep food simple. Stick to the basics, ensure you are getting enough protein and fibre via fresh fruit and veggies.
Next up let’s talk about exercise.
We can plan when we are going to partake in exercise and what it will look like, for example going to the gym during Monday’s lunch break to do some legs and core. We can plan when we are going to go for short ten-minute walks throughout our week, for example taking an extra ten minutes after work Wednesday to go for a walk before leaving work to head home. We can plan to move with others which will also increase accountability. Movement doesn’t have to be elaborate when we are pressed for time. A few minutes here and there can go a long way to improve your mental wellbeing and decrease stress, especially if you move outdoors and spend time getting some fresh air!
Lastly, let’s address sleep.
It’s sometimes inevitable that when life gets busy our sleep schedule gets interrupted. Despite having a huge to-do list, it is still important to prioritize our sleep. It’s best to set some boundaries around what time you will go to bed, and wake up. A lack of sleep, on a regular basis, can have a negative impact on one’s mental health and can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure as well as other health issues. In order for us to show up fully and function optimally, sleep is essential and we should have some boundaries around how much we are willing to compromise our optimal sleep schedules.
There are many different factors that can influence our eating behaviours, and by planning ahead we can try to ensure that we are eating when we are physiologically hungry and not emotionally stressed.
Let us dive into an area that challenges many during the holiday season, portions! Often times the holidays provide us with delicious meals that we don’t always get year-round, and due to this, we tend to sometimes want to consume a bit more than we need. It’s okay to occasionally eat a bit more than what you need, however, we don’t want to overeat on a regular basis and we want to ensure that if we overeat, it’s by a small portion and not necessarily doubling our portions.
One strategy to avoid overeating is to ensure you eat at regular intervals throughout the day.
It’s not the best to always go into a meal fasted, because that can set us up for a binge. It’s okay to have smaller portions throughout the day to ‘save’ some calories for the larger meal, however, we still want to eat, especially protein throughout the day leading up to the main meal.
Furthermore, if you know you will be having a dish that is not common, you can always ask to take home leftovers or portion out a second helping and freeze it for a later date.
At Athlete’s Kitchen, all our meals are preportioned and can help you stay on track during times when you want to ensure that you are eating enough without overeating.
You can implement a few shredding meals into your week as a caution if you think you are going over your calories. However, use those sparingly because you don’t want to be under-eating either.
Remember that what you do for 80% of the year matters most and crafting a sustainable lifestyle with strength training and the right amount of calories for you are your goals will ultimately dictate progress from one year to the next.
Outside of managing portion sizes during the holiday season, the next more important tip is to keep on moving! Movement during the holiday season does not need to look the same as it does when you have more time and less stress. However, movement should and still needs to be part of your daily routine.
Ask yourself what is your non-negotiables.
For example, instead of aiming for 12K steps per day every day, perhaps your non-negotiable is 8K steps. Instead of working out 5 days a week for 90 minutes, maybe your bare minimum is 3 days a week for 45 minutes.
It doesn’t matter how you move, rather that you move.
A simple solution to incorporate movement into your every day is to ensure it is preplanned and enjoyable. physical activity will help you maintain a healthy weight, can improve your mental health and can help reduce stress and allow you to return to the present moment. Bonus, spending time outdoors moving can do wonders as the fresh air can boost one’s mental health and provide a boost to your energy levels.
Strength training may be king at maintaining lean mass, however, don’t forget about the importance of getting sufficient amounts of protein in the diet.
At Athlete’s Kitchen, we prioritize a high amount of protein in all our meal plans so you don’t need to worry about getting enough protein at each meal.
Water! Don’t underestimate the power of drinking enough water, especially in stressful moments. Of course, consuming adequate water should be one of your healthy daily habits, every day, however, in times of stress, water can be a great way to not only stay hydrated but rather can help curb cravings.
Studies have shown that when consuming water prior to a meal, you are less likely to overeat during that meal. You are also more likely to feel satiated after your meal.
Dehydration can lead to a decline in both physical and cognitive performance, which is not ideal, especially around the holiday season when your to-do list seems to never end and only grow!
A few practical ways to increase water intake is to always have a water bottle within reach.
Be that in your car, at the office, in the kitchen, another in the living room, perhaps one in the bedroom. When water is within reach it is easier to consume (just like food!)
Furthermore, you can set alarms for water intake. Every 30-60 minutes have a little alarm go off to remind you to consume some water.
Don’t skimp out on Sleep
Of course, an obvious healthy habit to prioritize during the holiday season, as best you can, is sleep!
Sleep is crucial when it comes to having enough mental and physical energy to be productive. The more sleep you get can have a direct impact on your ability to focus, eat well, have the motivation to move and enjoy overall improve your quality of life.
During the holidays, it’s best to set some boundaries around sleep that you can focus on every day.
For example, you can set a goal around what time you will get to bed or you can set a goal around what time you will get up. When possible, having both bed and wake goals would be ideal, however, sometimes we need to strive for better instead of the best.
Get into a good habit of sleeping in the weeks leading up to the holidays. The holidays aren’t the best time to create new habits and break old habits.
In order to stay healthy during the holidays we don’t want to partake in extreme solutions, rather stay within our comfort zone and maintain the healthy daily habits we have built.
In summary, we realize that during the holiday season, times get really busy, goal setting gets tossed to the side and it can be an effort to stay healthy and maintain healthy habits. As we mentioned, the holidays aren’t necessarily a time to create a new habit, rather can be a great opportunity to hone in on the habits you have developed and see if they are up for a challenge.
Remember, everyone can do something hard for a day, week or even a month to create a healthy habit.
However, when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, and maintaining good overall health, we want to ensure that we have good habits that we can sustain, even in stressful times.
As we spoke about, planning ahead with your meals, movement and sleep can be a great strategy to ensure that you are living a healthier lifestyle this holiday season.
Using Athlete’s Kitchen to help you with portion control, in addition to consuming enough water every day.
It doesn’t have to be extreme, being intentional and carving out some quality time each day for yourself to either eat a nutritious meal, move your body, sit with your feet up or take a nap can go a long way to helping you achieve good habits.
We encourage you to also read through this article talking about how to nurture a healthy relationship with food.
Let Athlete’s Kitchen help you be the best you this holiday season.
We have a diverse menu of pre-portioned meals for you to select from. Vegetarian, pescatarian, snacks, breakfasts and even desserts! You can trust and know that with Athlete’s Kitchen you will be getting a meal that is not only full of flavour but also full of micronutrients to ensure you are full of energy to tackle your holiday to-do list! check out our latest menu.
If you’re looking for some more individualized support, our nutritionist Diane is here and ready to help you develop a plan this holiday season to ensure you are eating enough, moving your body in a way that feels right for you and getting enough sleep and recovery too! Feel free to book a complimentary consultation with her to learn more.