How to Jumpstart Healthy Eating After the Holidays
The end of each year brings with it a plethora of holidays that tend to center around food, indulgence, and social gatherings. Add to that list the amount of holiday stress that can come with the season, as well, and you’ve got the perfect storm of potential overeating! Let’s face it, Thanksgiving, the December holidays, and then New Year’s can make an unforgiving trio for your waistline.
If you overindulged a little this past holiday season, all is not lost. The best thing you can do is move forward and start the new year out fresh. Today, we’re taking a look at how to jumpstart healthy eating after the holidays with a few simple tips and techniques!
Tips for Healthy Eating After the Holidays
Are your clothes feeling a little bit tighter this January? You’re certainly not alone. Some of that discomfort may be less about failing to avoid holiday weight gain and more about uncomfortable bloating and inflammation within the body that comes from eating all those less-than-healthy foods at holiday gatherings. In fact, while holiday weight gain is a common topic, many people gain only a couple pounds of actual weight from November to December.
Whether you’ve gained one pound or five, however, eating healthy after the holidays can be great for kicking off New Year’s resolutions you can keep. Instead of focusing on a number, choosing healthier lifestyle adjustments could be more sustainable and effective. Some simple ways for how to jumpstart healthy eating after the holidays are:
- Drink water to flush out the bloat
- Hit the grocery store with a list
- Focus on whole foods and fresh foods
- Stay active during winter
- Learn to manage stress levels effectively
Drinking Water to Help Bloating
Kicking off our guide for how to jumpstart healthy eating after the holidays is probably the easiest adjustment there is: drink more water. A lot of the rich foods and sweets we enjoyed during the holidays may have us feeling like we’ve put on 10 pounds when the reality is it could potentially be some bloating, instead.
One study found that drinking approximately 17 ounces of water (the typical water bottle is 16.9 ounces) increases your metabolic rate by 30%. While indulging in moderation is crucial for fighting obesity year round, increasing your water intake post-holidays could help with how to improve digestion and flush your system of the excess sodium keeping you feeling bloated.
Make a Healthy Eating Grocery List
How better to start healthy eating after the holidays than with a healthy eating grocery list, right? It sounds so simple, but the truth is many of us are guilty of going to the grocery hungry and without a plan. Such a rough combination can increase impulse purchases of unhealthy food choices.
Instead of winging your next trip to the store, sit down and create a list first. There are plenty of apps such as Our Groceries that allow you to share lists between household members. This makes it simple to build and access a list regardless of who is doing the shopping that week! Sticking to your list makes eating healthy after the holidays easier. Instead of being drawn in by hunger or cravings, you can go in with a plan and know you’ve got everything you need.
Pro Tip: The healthier food at the grocery tends to be on the “outer ring.” Pay attention to how much of your list comes from the perimeter aisles next time you’re at the market!
Whole Foods and Fresh Foods for Eating Healthy After the Holidays
Continuing our exploration of how to jumpstart healthy eating after the holidays is shifting your focus to whole foods and fresh foods. While the siren song of holiday cookies may still linger in the air, finding creative ways to incorporate more whole foods into your diet may improve your relationship with food and help boost your overall health.
Whole foods tend to be non-processed, non-fatty foods like fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and seeds. While they are typically grouped with more plant-based foods, healthy fish varieties are also labeled as whole foods.
To help increase your number of whole foods and fresh foods each day, a simple trick is making sure half your plate consists of fruits, vegetables, or other healthy options. For example, start your morning off with a piece of fruit to accompany your eggs. For lunch, you can grab a salad while dinner should have at least one vegetable, too. Getting creative with your fresh food intake is key to eating healthy after the holidays and could make a huge difference.
Stay Active During Winter
Moving away from your actual food choices themselves, the next method on our list for how to jumpstart healthy eating after the holidays is finding ways to stay active during winter. When the weather gets colder and the days grow shorter, it becomes really easy to find yourself being less active. Less physical activity could result in a more sedentary lifestyle that lends itself to unhealthy snacking and accidental overeating.
Staying active during winter may improve sleep quality, assist with at-home anxiety relief, boost your immune system, and even potentially help you beat the winter blues. Finding ways to stay active during winter isn’t limited to going to a gym or sports facility, however. Doing full body workout exercises at home doesn’t require you to have fancy lifting equipment. You may even be surprised at some of the ways you can get creative to get your home workout in the winter! For example, using a zero gravity chair or recliner can serve as a useful tool to pair with your daily fitness routine.
Using a zero gravity chair may also help with other aspects of healthy eating after the holidays, as well. One of the ways is to potentially aid in better digestion. Combining exercise and the potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs could boost your overall healthy mindset. When we’re thinking clearly and positively, it’s easier to stick to our New Year’s resolution ideas.
Managing Winter Stress Levels
Healthy eating after the holidays doesn’t just depend on exercising, either. Two sides of the same coin, taking care of your mental health can be just as important to sticking to healthy eating after the holidays as staying physically active.
While we can’t avoid stress altogether, learning how to manage stress levels could help avoid stress related health problems, including accidental weight gain. Studies have shown a correlation between stress and eating behaviors. When we’re stressed out, we’re more likely to choose unhealthy foods. Oftentimes these are comfort foods for us, giving us a release of serotonin to counteract the stress we’re experiencing.
In place of using comfort food as a coping mechanism for stress, consider things like learning how to meditate at home or reclining in a zero gravity chair as part of a relaxing night time routine instead. Finding ways to manage stress could not only help kickstart healthy eating after the holidays, but improve mental health and physical well-being, as well.
As you can see, finding ways to jumpstart healthy eating after the holidays doesn’t have to be difficult. With a few lifestyle adjustments and proper planning, eating healthy after the holidays could quickly become a habit. From simple things like creating a grocery list to choosing a zero gravity chair for potential health benefits, your new approach to food could make a positive impact on your overall health. Remember, if you stumble, it’s okay. Let it go and start back on track. Healthy eating after the holidays is a journey, not a race!
Want to learn more about the potential healing benefits of zero gravity chairs and how they could positively impact your lifestyle? Check out these additional resources: