Dr. Kassam 10 Holiday Health Tips

10 Holiday Health Tips

Written By: Dr. Saira Kassam, ND

      As the year-end rolls around for 2017, we are all reflecting on this past year. It is a time to remember all the good, the bad, the exciting and the not so pleasant moments we endured. Take a moment to notice not only the changes that happened around you but also the changes that happened within you. There is always room for growth and improvement and no better time to start than now!

     The holidays bring extreme joy and excitement but it can also be a stressful time for many of us. There are more time pressures, social obligations, financial constraints and disruptions with normal routines. There is way less ‘’me-time” during the holiday season. It is so easy to fall off track during this time and say to yourself “I’ll get back to my regular routine in January”. This holiday I challenge you all to not let yourself fall off the wagon and stay on track for the next 2 weeks! Below are some tips to help make this holiday season a joyous and healthy occasion:

  1. Keep up the healthy habits You have worked super hard this year to stay on track with your health goals. Don’t let these next 2 weeks be any different! Don’t give in to that extra helping of food or staying away from the gym for too long.  For example, if you struggle with staying active during the holdiays, say to yourself, “For the next 3 weeks I will move more or do something active every day”.
  2. Balanced and Moderate eating Sugar cravings are highest at this time of year, simply because of easier accessibility. It is common to put on 5-10 pounds during the holiday season.  Try eating smaller meals vs. a couple large meals. Opt for the fruit instead of multiple portions of desert. Limit yourself to 1-2 helpings of dessert and satisfy the rest of your cravings with fruit.
  3. Don’t Drink your calories Pop, juices and alcohol are always being served at gatherings and work events. Limit yourself to these sugary drinks. Carry a water bottle with you to remind yourself to keep hydrated!
  4. Sleep Hygiene + StressWorking while planning Christmas dinners or shopping for gifts can get quite stressful. Make sure you are not sacrificing sleep to get everything done on time. Getting a restful sleep is so important to prevent yourself from overeating the next day and having enough brainpower to get you through stressful events. Force yourself to stay in bed later if you are getting into bed later. The holidays are for spending time with your families but also for yourself.
  5. Find alternative ways to stay activeIt can be hard to make it to the gym during the holidays, so finding ways to still stay active is crucial! Maybe it’s dancing to your favourite holiday music, maybe it's going for walks around the mall to window shop. Whatever it may be, stick with it!
  6. Stay true to your supplement regimen - Don't let yourself forget about the supplement protocols you are on. With everything going on around you it is so easy to forget your protocols. Make a conscious effort to continue with your supplements. 
  7. Breathe, Indulge and listen to your body Don’t forget to take time for yourself and focus on your breathing when things get too stressful. Don’t completely refrain from the foods you love as that makes for more temptations. Watch your portion sizes and listen to your body.
  8. No Self-criticism - Be ok with whatever you accomplish today. Enjoy the process of cooking Christmas dinner or buying Christmas gifts. Don't get stressed out with having to complete all tasks in that moment in time. Setbacks are inevitable! Traffic may hold you back from hitting all 7 stores. So be OK with the process and enjoy it! 
  9. Focus on the year ahead Create your goals for next year to keep yourself motivated and on track. Strive to be the best version of yourself. 
  10. Be Thankful- Look around you and don't forget to appreciate everyone and everything around. Cherish every moment you have. 

 

I hope reading these tips make your holidays less stressful and more enjoyable. Don’t forget to reflect on the past year but be ready to embark on the New Year ahead with new goals. Stay safe and Happy Holidays!