Nutrition

The Holiday Health Tips You Need This Season

November 14, 2023

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Hi, I’m Victoria! Certified in exercise physiology + nutrition coaching. I wanna help you create vibrant health without losing perspective on what matters.  

Meet Victoria

holiday health tips - friends enjoying a meal

Dear friends, nuzzle in. I'm coming at you with my top Holiday Health Tips that you absolutely need this season.

I’m pretty sure every year I say the same thing. As Christmas rolls up I wonder, HOW THE HECK is it the end of the year already? Nevertheless- here we are. And while the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and connection, what clients often share is a feeling of dread or worry. How do we maintain progress when life feels busier (and we’re surrounded by way more treats) than normal?

Grab a snack and let me ease your worries with a few non-lame holiday health tips for the upcoming season.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products I personally use and love!*


Before we dive in, an important note: Not everyone is in the middle of working toward a physical goal. And to those people I say, I hope that you enjoy every single moment of connection available over drinks and treats and yummy eats. This message is for the people who are in the middle of a process and hoping to navigate the holiday well while also being available to connection and tradition. If that’s not you- just keep on livin’ honey.

To the rest of us, let’s dive in.

What doesn’t work? 

  1. It doesn’t work to restrict and not enjoy anything for fear of gaining weight
  2. It doesn’t work to say “Screw it!” and get back on the wagon in the New Year.

(And honestly, that’s ok because these options are the worst)

In my experience, you:

  • Can keep up the progress you have made before the holidays
  • Can participate in your favorite traditions
  • Don't have to “Start over” on January 1st
  • Don't need to get swept up in bad habits that you have to “undo” later
  • Don't have to stress about weight gain
  • Don't have to pass on memory-making moments with friends and family

WHILE ALSO

  • Enjoying your mom’s homemade pie.
  • Drinking hot chocolate on movie night
  • Saying cheers with friends and champagne
  • Making memories and participating in traditions

Sound too good to be true?
It’s not!
Let me show you how.

holiday health tips - friends around a holiday meal

My Top 5 Holiday Health Tips

1. The Workout

Plan to do it early, or plan to skip it.
But whatever you do- PLAN IT.

If you’ve got people in town and you want a cozy and slow non-gym morning, go for it.
Guilt-free, baby.

If you’ve got a lot going on and you know you need to move to stay sane- do it.

The point here is that you are deciding and being intentional in the choice.

This allows you to stay in the driver’s seat instead of getting tossed around like a rag doll through the holiday madness. This creates a sense of safety in your brain- you are a safe place that will protect your priorities (not a victim to the insanity of the season).

P.S. You don’t need to guilt yourself into exercising if what you actually need is REST. Taking the day off when you decide you need it HITS DIFFERENT than skipping because you got busy and missed your window. 

P.P.S. If you decide to exercise, do it in the AM. There are more distractions during the holidays than normal and an afternoon workout will *probably never* come together on its own. Trust me. 

2. Incorporate playful, restful, joyful types of movement

This tip is going to feel so dumb- but I promise you it works.

The holidays are not usually when we’re setting records and making huge gains in our fitness and health. That’s ok!
My suggestion is that you use the differentness of this season to fill your cup up.

Try something new.
Let yourself play a little.
Give yourself room to practice something.
Incorporate friends or family.
Sweat just to sweat and don’t worry about the “progress”

The holidays bring a natural shift- they’re supposed to (more of this in holiday health tip #5). It’s a big seasonal change. But instead of resisting it, lean into it.

The most important thing is that you protect the good habits that you have built. Keep showing up (don’t slack off just because it’s the holidays) but allow yourself some room to expand and move differently than normal.

This is also a secret hack for resting enough to start the new year energized and engaged. 

Related: Getting Back on Track - The Power of Pivot

3. It’s allowed (and encouraged) to enjoy eating during the holidays. 

Eat the pie.
Drink the champagne.
Get cozy with hot chocolate.

Acting like you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” is what does serious damage to your goals. Deciding to enjoy food during the holidays, creates an opportunity. 

The opportunity comes in the form of structure and support for your body. 

Use this Template: 
I’m planning to enjoy____________
I can support my body by____________________

Here are some examples:
I’m Planning to enjoy: champagne.
I can support my body by: hydrating the rest of the day.

I’m planning to enjoy: all the appetizers at the party.
I can support my body by: making sure I eat during the day so I’m not starving at party time.

I’m planning to enjoy: drinks with my friends!
I can support my body by: choosing dinner that’s nutrient dense.

See how it goes?
When you pretend like you won’t (but then do) you miss out on a massive opportunity to SUPPORT your body.

This is one of the most IGNORED Holiday Health Tips.
If you can learn this, you can decorate Christmas cookies, cozy up with hot chocolate, and eat the cinnamon rolls- all without the mental gymnastics that tend to follow.

Your life will change, I’m 100 percent not joking. Master this.

4. Practice Body Awareness

There is a myth rolling around (probs thanks to the diet industry) that tries to convince us that our bodies are mindless eating machines.
This is total garbage.

We have built-in signals in our bodies that tell us when to eat and when to stop. The issue is that we’ve been told we can’t trust our bodies, so we ignore them instead. The result is that we overeat, overdrink, skip sleep, pick non-nourishing options, and don’t feel our best mentally or physically.

This holiday season, try something different. Bring an intention into the holidays to listen for the subtle cues your body sends you.

Some ways you might see this play out in the holidays: 

Snacking more than usual? Your body is talking—she might be hungry and looking for some real sustenance instead of snacks. Take a mental inventory of the last real meal you had today and then adjust your approach as needed.

Giant Sweet tooth? Your body is talking! A diet full of sweets will leave you deficient in macronutrients and looking to fill the void. It makes sense you’re on the prowl! Sugar also has an addictive nature- the more you eat, the more you need. Eating a breakfast high in protein will help curb cravings later in the day.

Overeating? When we are in social settings (like a Christmas party) it’s easy to be distracted. Pay attention to physical sensations- like feeling bloated, starving, full, thirsty, tired, etc. as you are filling up your plate.

Your body is always sending you information, it’s your job to practice paying attention. This can be hard to start if you’ve never done it before. Start by noticing what it feels like after you eat or drink a big glass of water. There are physical sensations that we usually ignore— once you start noticing some, you will be surprised how many more sensations you become aware of.

5. Rest

We tend to push, overcommit, over-schedule, and rush (through everything, really— but especially the holidays). There is beauty that comes with each season change and we tend to miss out on it when we try to match the same intensity and productivity all year round.

Nothing in nature produces and harvests all year round. It’s not natural.

In fact, things that are continuously growing without rest/slow cycles tend to be UNHEALTHY. (Think cancers, overgrowth, infestations—eeek.)

I am not suggesting that you spend days inside, scrolling, zoning out, and isolated. That’s not rest— that’s numbing yourself.

I’m giving you permission to participate in the season of slowing down, being grateful, creating memories, and loving your people. That doesn’t happen when you’re rushed from activity to activity- it happens when there is space to create and connect.

Rest will look different for all of us.
It could mean taking some extra commitments off your plate.
Or doing a social media fast so you can connect with the people in your home.
Or maybe rest looks like making time for something that you love to do.
Maybe rest means you read a novel instead of a textbook.
You pick. But prioritize resting in a way that leaves you feeling full.

Holiday Health Tips TLDR:

I hope that you ENJOY every last bit of your holiday season! Stay engaged by planning your movement ahead of time, incorporating new types of movement into your normal routine, enjoying your favorite foods, and creating support for your body while you do it, practicing body awareness, and rest!

One last thing: don’t forget that health is about more than what you eat and how much you move. It’s also about the peace, connection, joy, (and so much more) that you feel in your daily life. This holiday season is a great opportunity to focus on the other aspects of health. My challenge to you is to pursue one moment of pure joy, perfect peace, and true connection.
You in?

I think you’re awesome and I’m so glad you’re here.

 

Xo,

Victoria

 

Which holiday health tips are you going to incorporate this season? Let me know below!


 

Remember, always check with your health care professional before starting any new diet or exercise program. Any product recommendation is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Our statements and information have not necessarily been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Every body and person is different. Therefore, We cannot and do not guarantee that you will attain a specific or particular result, and you accept the risk that results differ for each individual. As with any health-related program or service, your results may vary.

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