- Health experts say the COVID-19 holiday season is an opportunity to switch up your eating habit, exercise and stay healthy at this time of year.
- They recommend you prepare healthy foods and also look for new ways to exercise.
- Experts also added that taking care of your mental health is also essential, so you should focus on the positive aspects of the holiday season.
How to eat healthily and stay fit during Covid-19 Holiday
Are you worried about gaining weight this COVID-19 holiday season? Don’t be.
This is because this pandemic December is a perfect opportunity to stop the holiday weight gain cycle. They say the fact that some traditions such as office parties, get-togethers, and even holiday dinners are on hold brings about an opportunity for change.
It is a chance to direct things toward a healthy diet and lifestyle.
2020’s circumstances have presented a golden opportunity for people to practice a convenient, healthy living as the world’s common distractions are currently hard to reach. There’s no better time to make a move towards a better and healthy way of living other than now.
This means while many people think the holidays won’t work because of the challenges at hand, they can make the best of this holiday with the right measures in place. In fact, this year could be easier without those outdoors distractions.
How can a person have this holiday season to be a healthy time of year? Here are some expert opinions.
Understand the reality of things
First off, as much as many of us observe that we gain lots of weight at this period of the year, the reality may be otherwise. According to research in 2016 published by livingscience, people in the United States gain slightly above a pound, on average, during the Christmas season. Studies were done in previous years and produced similar results.
How we feel is part of the challenge.
We must distinguish between weight gain as a result of an increase in body fat from temporary bloating.
Many holiday foods have a high amount of sodium, and we may not be drinking as much water. So, it’s not unusual for water weight to be behind the jump in the scale the morning after a celebration.
Consider avoiding your daily weigh-in for the holidays.
And at that point when you feel bloated, drink more water and do some exercise.
Find new activities
Outdoor sports like cycling and hiking as well as golf was at an increase during the 2020 pandemic summer.
Experts say winter does not need to be different.
Finding a new way to move, or just setting up a regular schedule of activity in some way could be a great gift to yourself.
Move your body for pleasure, not for weight loss. Do it for better stress management, and for fun.
How to stick with it?
Make these exercises part of your holiday (and beyond) routine. An after-meal walk with friends or alone can be great.
Also, a regular family bike ride, morning jogging, a weekly hike, and dance in your living room can be few of the best practices to stick with your keeping fit routine.
Remaking or tossing traditions
In this unusual year, it may be normal to lean toward traditions we can still take part in when so many of them are out of our reach. But how we embrace that healthily comes down to considering how essential somethings are to you and when you can switch things up for the best.
Ask yourself: Is it essential for me to have something typical or traditional?. Or, could you take a family favourite and lighten it up?
It’s essential to create some fun.
For some, baking and cooking and finding new ways are fun.
In other words, use the “bake fresh bread” fad of last spring’s lockdown and tweak it into a healthier favourite holiday food challenge.
It is essential too that you do not deny yourself the treats that make the holidays unique. Look for things that work for you in a way that does not make you feel deprived.
If you can, choose traditional treats that are around the house without going overboard. But if you want something unique, go ahead and do it.
However, be careful not to overeat.
Make only your favourite baked goods. Pick just one or two famous holiday delicacies, or make half-batches. Also know that cookie dough generally freezes. So, if you can’t halve your recipe easily then store half of your dough in the freezer to be baked later in the year.
And what of that tradition of having snack leftovers?
A registered dietitian, Cesar Sauza, RD, suggests you rethink how you enjoy them. Use some of the leftovers as part of your meal preparation for the next few days. We don’t need a holiday meal for five straight days. However, leftover turkey or chicken could be used for different meals each day. The leftover side dishes could be used with protein to make a new main dish.
It’s the small things that add up.
The little things do add up. Don’t discount them. I am talking about those positive things.
Those wanting to lose or maintain weight mostly think in an all-or-nothing mode, plunging them into despair if they eat something or do something they view as not positive toward that effort.
Instead, we should all do little things and celebrate them.
Every small choice helps. Have that piece of pie but not all of it. One less bite is positive.
Also, better monitoring of the choices of liquid being consumed should be highly prioritized.
Avoid drinking calories too. Alcohol, hot chocolate, or other dessert drinks make up a high number of empty calories during the holidays. Avoiding (or reducing) these drinks could be the difference between gaining or losing weight. As well as drinking water between higher calories items that you eat.
Your Mental health matters
How can you remain mentally healthy while trying to restrict your typical activities?
- Experts suggest that rather than looking at maintaining or losing weight this holiday season as being stressful, try to see it as a gift to yourself.
- Put a different meaning to your weight management.
Experts suggest thinking about what it feels like to move better, feel better, sleep better, wear clothes you like, and other positive attributes.
- When you focus on why it clicks. And should you falter? Give yourself a break.
2020 should bring fewer parties and temptations, but it also comes with stress, boredom, and uncertainty, all of which could cause emotional eating and reduced motivation to be active.
We should all be going outside to do something active — for physical health but even more importantly, for mental health. A simple walk around your neighbourhood could be the difference that restrains you from having an emotional meal at home.
Families are encouraged to plan daily activities (preferably outside if possible). The exercises should be safe as long as you practice social distancing and have your face mask on at all times.
If done correctly; this holiday is a rare chance to reset your holiday health choices for the best.
For most of us, we may never get an opportunity like this for the rest of our lives, a period in which our typical hectic lives have slowed down.
In the end, there will be those people that took advantage of this period and improved themselves. This is a rare opportunity and the silver lining of 2020.